Where will it be? Decision time for primary birthing unit

The public meeting will share feedback received from the public consultation so far, and present options around the configuration of maternity services in the area for people to consider. Credit: Pixabay.

Options for the location of a new primary birthing unit in Central Otago have been released in preparation for a public meeting in Cromwell to gain community feedback.

The meeting will be held today, from 4 pm, at the Cromwell Presbyterian Church, 10 Elspeth Street, Cromwell.

Southern DHB has worked alongside the Central Lakes Locality Network to engage with stakeholders and local communities to develop options to meet the need for primary birthing facilities.

Mary Cleary Lyons, general manager, Primary and Population Health, Southern DHB said the public meeting will share feedback received from the public consultation so far, and present options around the configuration of maternity services in the area for people to consider.

During the consultation process, over 300 responses to an online form were received, and meetings were held with stakeholders including midwives, primary care, St John and Māori communities.

Participants were asked their views on the most important issues to consider when deciding on a location for a primary maternity facility. These included:  24/7 midwifery availability at birthing facilities; rapid access to urgent transport, especially a helicopter, and equity of travel times and access to primary birthing facilities for all parts of the region.

Based on this feedback, the proposed four options are being presented for consideration at the public meeting.

 

Option One:

·        Locate a single new facility at Cromwell

·        Decommission Charlotte Jean Maternity Hospital

·        Supplemented by maternal and child hubs in Wanaka, Alexandra and Ranfurly

·        Emergency birthing facilities in Lawrence

 

Option Two:

·        Locate a single new primary birthing unit in Clyde at Dunstan Hospital

·        Decommission Charlotte Jean Maternity Hospital

·        Supplemented by maternal and child hubs in Wanaka and Ranfurly

·        Emergency birthing facilities in Lawrence

 

Option Three:

·        Locate a new Primary Birthing Unit in Wanaka AND

·        Retain the current unit in Alexandra (Charlotte Jean)

·        Supplemented by maternal and child hubs in Ranfurly and Cromwell

·        Emergency birthing facilities in Lawrence

 

Option Four:

·        Locate a new Primary Birthing Unit in Wanaka AND

·        Relocate the current unit in Alexandra (Charlotte Jean) to be co-located with Dunstan Hospital in Clyde

·        Supplemented by maternal and child hubs in Ranfurly and Cromwell

·        Emergency birthing facilities in Lawrence

 

Southern DHB said: “We have sincerely appreciated the consideration that has been given to this question, and the thoughts our communities and stakeholders have shared with us. It is a complex issue, and there are a variety of possible solutions, each of which offers opportunities as we weigh up the priorities involved.”

View edition 984 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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