Maternity unit lifeline welcomed
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.
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.