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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

February 10, 2015

Innovations attract midwives to the Coast

Innovative support packages being offered to self-employed Lead Maternity Care (LMC) midwives are attracting new midwives to the Coast.

Following a Maternity Review in 2013, the DHB consulted with midwives and others late last year and has now moved away from employing case-loading midwives to a model of primary maternity care delivered by self-employed Lead Maternity Care (LMC) midwives in the community.

LMCs in the community work in collaboration with obstetricians, midwives working at McBrearty and Kawatiri maternity facilities, and other providers in the community.

One of the advantages of the move to a community-based primary midwifery model is improved continuity of care and choice for women. This model is consistent with the delivery of primary maternity services throughout the rest of New Zealand.

In its quest to deliver a robust maternity service, the DHB has developed a sustainability package for all West Coast LMC midwives, which started this year. The sustainability package details are confidential arrangements, but include incentives for West Coast rural LMC midwives who often have to travel huge distances.

College of Midwives Chief Executive Karen Guilliland applauds the approach taken by the West Coast DHB.

"Sustainability is an issue for all rural health services. The College is pleased that the West Coast DHB recognises that primary maternity care provided by LMC midwives is an essential service and has agreed to provide additional support through a sustainability package. This support plays an essential role in attracting more midwives to remote areas."

Overseeing the changes in Grey/Westland, General Manager Mark Newsome says recruitment is now complete, and there are five new LMCs appointed, four of whom have started.

"We're excited that this means more choice for mums who can go on to the Find Your Midwife website. The new model we're operating is a change in employment structure, not a change to users. Mums shouldn't notice any difference apart from more choice and improved continuity of care for women and their babies," Mark says.

-Ends-

For more information please contact:

Lee Harris,
Senior Communications Advisor
West Coast District Health Board
e: 
t: +64 27 836 1528

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