Queenstown mums to benefit from 24/7 midwives

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Queenstown’s hospital has announced a boost to its birthing unit with the confirmation of round-the-clock midwifery care.

All Lakes District Hospital-employed midwives will work 12-hour shift rotations from June to provide cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a statement released today by Southern District Health Board says.

A midwifery unit coordinator will be appointed to “ensure the smooth running of the unit, coordinate rosters and ensure hospital midwives and nursing staff provide consistent quality patient care”, the statement says.

The changes also mean from June, the hospital-employed midwives will no longer provide lead maternity midwifery care. Local expectant women will now have to find an independent midwife to provide their care during pregnancy.

SDHB says there are a sufficient number of self-employed independent midwives working in the area to absorb the transfer of care.

SDHB director of midwifery Jenny Humphries says the move is a positive step forward for the hospital.

“We are thrilled to confirm the hospital will be continuing to work with its three highly capable and experienced midwives to provide birthing and post-birthing support for local women. This is great news for the community who we know have a very high regard for the excellent service that these midwives have continued to provide over many years,” she says.

“The changes that are taking place at Lakes District Hospital promise a better, higher quality maternity service for local women, and we hope pregnant women who wish to birth at the hospital or stay there after birthing can now have peace of mind that the unit will be open 24/7 to provide for their needs.”

SDHB says it will closely monitor the effectiveness of the new model of care for staff and patients following its introduction and will continue to survey all patients regularly to identify feedback and respond to any issues that arise.