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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.

May 2, 2007

New Zealand College of Midwives report

The West Coast District Health Board has begun the process of implementing recommendations from a review of maternity services conducted by the New Zealand College of Midwives.

In February of this year the West Coast District Health Board commissioned the New Zealand College of Midwives to conduct a review of maternity services in the region.

The DHB commissioned the review to ensure the long-term sustainability of maternity services in this region and to provide advice on workforce issues faced in this region.

The Terms of Reference of the review encompassed two overarching objectives:

  • An appraisal of how the District Health Board, and in particular the Kawatiri Unit, provides maternity services in relation to Section 88 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, the Maternity Service Facility Specifications and the current draft Primary Maternity Service Specifications.
  • Evaluation of current processes and practices and how these might need to be developed or adapted to ensure the West Coast District Health Board continues to provide a clinically safe and viable service now and into the future.

DHB Chief Executive Kevin Hague said the review had been extremely positive overall.

"The review highlights the changes that will need to be made in-order to ensure the sustainability of services in the long-term, but also highlights the strong community, clinical and management support for maternity services in the region," Mr Hague said.

As part of the review process the college interviewed, consumers, midwives, GPs, members of the Buller community, Plunket and specialists.

"We are confident the college have conducted an extremely thorough review of services and provided the District Health Board with set of robust recommendations."

Mr Hague said since the DHB received the final report a little over a week ago, the recommendations had been assessed for immediate, short-term and long-term implementation.

"The most immediate course of action is to continue with recruitment for permanent staff members as well as establishing a core group of locums the District Health Board can call on."

Discussion has also begun around handing the day-to-day management of the Kawatiri Midwifery Unit to the manager of Buller Health.

Once Kawatiri is appropriately staffed it will reopen for birthing. Around 20 women each year give birth at the primary birthing unit.

Mr Hague said the DHB had made it clear from the outset of this process that its number one priority was patient safety.

"Maternity services are a highly specialised field and it is important the DHB utilises every avenue open to it to obtain information that will strengthen and promote safety in this specialty."

He said given the thoroughness of the review and its recommendations he was confident the DHB had made the right decision to seek independent advice on maternity services.

The review provided a clear path for the DHB to follow to ensure maternity services operated as safely and efficiently as possible.

Mr Hague said the DHB would continue to provide the community with updates on maternity services over the coming months.


Midwifery Review Comments - Document

Click the following link to download and read the Midwifery Review Comments (PDF document - Size: 150 KB)

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