Dear Maternity Consumer,
As the immediate threat of Coronavirus COVID-19 has passed in the Mackay Hospital and Health Service area our maternity services are gradually returning to levels you are more familiar with. When we initiated changes to our services in March it was in the face of the very real possibility of a local outbreak that could have had devastating impacts on mothers-to-be and the wider community.
Following expert advice from public health and infectious disease specialists we are now able to return some services to near normal levels. All women are now allowed two people attend their birth and as support people during antenatal appointments. Some visiting restrictions remain in place however these too have eased to allow two visitors, once a day for two hours. Visitors are not restricted to the two-hour limit and may stay for longer if they are a partner or person for someone admitted for care related to their pregnancy (including birthing).
We are committed to supporting all pregnant woman and to offering you choice in your birthing models of care. Whether you birth with support of midwives on Labour Ward or with a known midwife through Birth Centre, Post Graduate Midwifery Group Practice and Kem Kem Yanga Midwifery Group Practice, you can be assured you will receive the best of care.
The ability to resume some services is in recognition of the excellent work done to flatten the curve and control the spread of Coronavirus. We’re doing this in the right way and not in a hurry. It’s a balance to ensure we meet the desires of women where possible yet maintain the capacity to respond quickly to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Moving forward, as long as COVID-19 numbers remain at zero, the Birth Centre will re-open on 27 May for birthing, ante and postnatal appointments. This re-opening is being discussed with midwives and consumer representatives and will be communicated further when final details are known.
It is Queensland Department of Health policy that all patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 must be isolated from other patients to avoid spreading the virus. The Birth Centre has been selected as the most appropriate, safe and secure location to birth a baby of a suspected/confirmed positive COVID-19 mother as it is separate from well women and the hospital’s labour and maternity wards. Birth Centre clients are assured they will still be supported and cared for by their known midwife in a safe and comfortable environment should they birth in a Labour Ward suite.
We understand change and uncertainty can cause concern and disappointment, however we must consider the wellbeing and safety of all expectant mothers, and we will continue to provide care in a way that affords everyone with the safest birth experience.
Senior Director Operations
Mackay HHS Perioperative, Women’s Health and Amnulatory Care