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HBDHB proposes to change CHB maternity services

MEDIA RELEASE

10 October 2003

HBDHB proposes to change CHB maternity services

At Wednesday’s board meeting, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board members unanimously endorsed a proposal to consult with the community over changing the scope of maternity services in Central Hawke’s Bay to focus on providing ante-natal and post-natal care, not birthing services.

“In recent years we have seen a significant reduction in the numbers of women choosing to have their baby in Central Hawke’s Bay. Last year, out of 150 babies born to Hawke’s Bay women, only 31 chose to have their babies at the CHB health centre,” said Lynne Grose, manager of primary, older people and rural services.

“We have talked to women about their choices, and for most women the main reason they choose to have their baby at Ata Rangi in Hastings is the fact that they have the security of knowing specialist help is on hand should they need it – this includes epidural pain relief which is administered by an anaesthetist.

“By focusing on providing quality ante-natal and post-natal care, women can have the best of both worlds – deliver their baby in a facility with specialist support on hand, and recuperate close to home in Waipukurau in the quiet environment of the CHB health centre. This will be more convenient for family and friends to visit the mother and baby.

“The fact that three self-employed lead maternity carers (midwives) announced they would not be providing care in Central Hawke’s Bay after November this year has also contributed to this decision – without the volume of births, the service simply isn’t viable.

DHB midwives located in CHB will continue to provide in-home postnatal visiting for new mums, and it is proposed that visiting LMCs will continue to provide ante-natal care from clinics based in the Central Hawke’s Bay Health Centre.

“We will be talking to stakeholders in the community and holding a public meeting in November to discuss health issues in Central Hawke’s Bay, including the proposed changes to maternity services.

“The beauty of this option, as opposed to closing it altogether, is that if the trend of women choosing to have babies in Hastings should reverse, we could look at reopening the facility in Waipukurau in the future.

“In the meantime, if anyone has any comments, concerns, or feedback on the proposal they can contact Trish Giddens, manager CHB Health Centre – patricia.giddens@hawkesbaydhb.govt.nz or phone (06) 858 9090 or write to her at the CHB Health Centre, 1 Cook Street Waipukurau,” Lynne Grose said.

END

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