Birth unit for Waitakere Hospital
A birthing centre for West Auckland has been given the green light, but the Maternity Services Consumer Council isn’t celebrating yet.
MSCC spokeswoman Brenda Hinton said it had been lobbying for a birthing centre in west Auckland for 20 years. The Waitemata¯ District Health Board’s decision was only a small step forward and didn’t show much of a commitment, she said.
‘‘This is an overdue first step and we hope that it moves onto being something more substantial,’’ she said.
Currently, West Aucklanders had to travel to Helensville or Parnell if they wanted to go to a birthing centre.
MSCC had supported a petition in 2015 for an integrated birthparenting facility out west that received a total of 823 signatures. The 500 square-metre facility would be built on-site at Waita¯ kere Hospital.
But Hinton said MSCC had been hoping for an off-site birthing unit as international research showed that birthing outcomes were better when it was not part of a hospital facility.
In a statement, Waitemata¯ DHB director of funding Debbie Holdsworth said the hospital was chosen because of the expected population growth. More than 2800 babies were born at Waita¯kere Hospital in the year ending June 2017.
More than 2800 babies were born at Waita¯kere Hospital in year ending June 2017.