Ma­ter­nity unit life­line wel­comed

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

d451096 HEALTH con­sumer ad­vo­cates have wel­comed a State Govern­ment de­ci­sion to con­tinue ma­ter­nity ser­vices at Bent­ley Hos­pi­tal un­til at least 2018.

The unit was ear­marked for clo­sure this year af­ter a 2015 re­view of ma­ter­nity ser­vices by Pro­fes­sor Con Michael rec­om­mended the dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of ma­ter­nity ser­vices at the hos­pi­tal.

Health Min­is­ter Kim Hames con­firmed the hos­pi­tal, which de­liv­ered 1060 ba­bies last year, would re­main open un­til mid-2018 pend­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a ma- ter­nity ser­vices im­ple­men­ta­tion plan.

“The State Govern­ment has made the de­ci­sion that ma­ter­nity ser­vices at Bent­ley will re­main avail­able sub­ject to on­go­ing op­er­a­tional and cost-ef­fi­ciency re­views and in mid-2018, we will again re­view the model,” he said.

A ma­ter­nity ser­vice tran­si­tion group made up of a joint com­mit­tee of Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal staff, Bent­ley Health Ser­vice staff and con­sumers will fi­nalise the plan.

Health Con­sumers Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Pip Bren­nan said peo­ple power was re­spon­si­ble for the con­tin­u­a­tion of ser­vices.

Ms Bren­nan said Bent­ley Hos­pi­tal’s stand­ing as a low-risk hos­pi­tal was pre­ferred by the 80 per cent of non-English speak­ing women who gave birth there last year. Dr Hames agreed. “I un­der­stand from talk­ing to staff and pa­tients at the hos­pi­tal that it is strongly pa­tro­n­ised and favoured by the lo­cal com­mu­nity, with the bulk of births sup­ported by gen­eral prac­tice ob­ste­tri­cians and ex­pe­ri­enced mid­wives,” he said.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell

Nurses Robyn Searle, Mi­dori Moore, Zena Robin­son, Bev Davis and Zoe Lo are happy at the news the ma­ter­nity unit at Bent­ley Hos­pi­tal will stay open un­til at least 2018.

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