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Proposal To Change Community Midwifery Service

3 December 2004

Proposal To Change Community Midwifery Service

The CDHB’s Women’s Health Division has announced a proposal to change the Division’s Community Midwifery Service.

Women’s & Children’s Health Division General Manager Pauline Burt said the Community Midwifery Service was based at Christchurch Women’s hospital, Rangiora hospital and the Burwood birthing unit.

Community midwives were not part of the core midwifery staff employed within the Division, she said. They were midwives who offered the same type of care as independent (self employed) midwives. About 13 midwives would be affected by the proposal, but, Ms Burt said all staff could be accommodated within the existing service.

‘This proposal is in line with moves made by other DHBs in New Zealand. More and more women are choosing an independent midwife as their Lead Maternity Carer rather than a midwife employed by the DHB. This means that the midwives we employ as a community service are not getting the caseloads.’

Ms Burt said the principle of choice for pregnant women was very important and there was no shortage of independent midwives in Canterbury.

‘We are fortunate because so many midwives who complete their training opt to stay here,’ she said.

Women who had already elected a community midwife as their Lead Maternity Carer would be notified by letter and all the options explained to them if the proposal for change was accepted.

‘We have initiated a month-long consultation period and a decision will be made early in February whether to proceed. None of our birthing facilities will be affected by this proposal. It is all about ensuring the best care available for pregnant women.’

Ms Burt gave an assurance that the Women’s Health Division would help every woman to find a midwife if the proposed changes went ahead.

ENDS

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