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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

February 17, 2007

Review of Maternity Services

The West Coast District Health Board has asked the New Zealand College of Midwives to conduct a review of maternity services in the region.

The decision to order an independent review was made in-order to ensure the DHB was providing a clinically safe and viable service into the future.

Prior to the site visit from the College and subsequent implementation of any recommendations, all babies delivered with the DHB birth facilities will be born at Grey Base Hospital.

Ante-natal and post-natal care will still be provided at Kawatiri in Westport.

Acting Chief Executive Hecta Williams said the recent resignation of one staff member from Westport had prompted the DHB to look at maternity services and a decision to hold a review of the service across the region was made.

Ms Williams said patient safety was the over-riding factor in making the decision to suspend deliveries at any facility other than Grey Base on the West Coast.

"We need to ensure that clinical safety is assured at all times and to do that we need to look at how some aspects of maternity services are currently being provided and whether we need to make any changes."

The DHB has begun recruiting for midwives for the Buller Region.

Ms Williams said the DHB had decided to make a public announcement to avoid the possibility of rumours placing undue stress on pregnant mothers or staff members of maternity services.

"We are conducting a review looking at quality and process improvements to ensure that we are providing the best maternity service and that we continue to ensure families have access to high quality services well into the future."

The District Health Board expects a relatively small number of women to be affected, as the vast majority of births are already carried out in Greymouth.

Lead Maternity Carers will be talking with mothers to be nearing the end of their pregnancy in the Buller region about the change.

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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