Health officials have promised Nambour General Hospital will continue to play a key role in obstetric services, despite plans to relocate the maternity ward to the new Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (SCPUH).
Health officials have promised Nambour General Hospital will continue to play a key role in obstetric services, despite plans to relocate the maternity ward to the new Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (SCPUH). Brett Wortman

Obstetric services to stay at Nambour Hospital

HEALTH officials have promised Nambour General Hospital will continue to play a key role in obstetric services, despite plans to relocate the maternity ward to the new Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (SCPUH).

Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr Marc Miller, said the health service had worked closely with new mothers to develop a models of care that continued to deliver a safe and high quality service for pregnant women and their families.

His comments follow calls for the Nambour maternity ward to remain open, amidst fears the impact its closure will have on pregnant women in the area.

"Our priority has always been to provide safe, evidence-based care to pregnant women throughout their journey from pregnancy and beyond," Dr Miller said.

"It is true that the maternity service that is currently at Nambour General Hospital will be physically integrated and co-located with paediatric services at SCPUH, but our new family-centred approach means families can also access support in a number locations throughout the health service.

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"Our health service plan, which was released for public consultation in January 2013, sees Nambour General Hospital continuing to play an important role in our maternity service.

"It will provide antenatal and postnatal outpatient services. It will also be a base for the extended midwifery service providing care to mothers and babies in their homes."

Dr Miller said planning for maternity services had also given careful consideration to meeting future demand and dealing with a bigger and more complex case load.

"Following the opening of the new hospital, we will assess whether there is an option for the development of a midwifery-led birthing service at Nambour General Hospital.

"At SCPUH more women will be able to access higher risk pregnancy care closer to home with the commencement of a Maternal Fetal Medicine service at SCPUH."

Antenatal care would continue to be offered in a variety of formats to suit the diverse needs of women using the maternity service, including different midwifery clinics (outreach clinics in Noosa, Caloundra, Maleny, Sippy Downs, Maroochydore and Nambour after the new hospital opens), obstetric clinics (for higher risk pregnancies) and shared care arrangements with accredited GPs and privately practising midwives.

"Collaborative models of maternity care will continue among all care providers, allowing easy escalation of care for women who develop pregnancy problems, facilitating care by the most appropriate practitioner," Dr Weaver said.

"Since May 2014, expectant mothers have been able to choose to have their babies under the care of a private midwife and this model of care will continue at Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital."



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