Pregnant women and their families in the Lachlan Health Service area are being reminded of some changes to maternity services at Parkes and Forbes hospitals.
While a new maternity service model is being developed, babies from Parkes, Forbes and surrounding communities will be born at Forbes hospital where midwifery, obstetric and anaesthetic services are available around the clock.
Lachlan Health Service Manager, Liz Mitchell, said work on the new Lachlan Maternity Service is progressing and the community will receive regular updates.
“We will be working hard to further develop our Midwifery group practice ‘Know your Midwife’ services in 2020, and in the interim we want women and families to have accurate information about how to access the maternity services they need,” said Ms Mitchell.
Birthing is not currently available at Parkes hospital, however procedures are in place to respond to emergencies. Parkes hospital continues to provide women with pre- and post-natal care and fortnightly clinics.
In the future, women will be able to choose to have their babies in Parkes Hospital if the pregnancy and birth are assessed to be low risk. If an induction of labour or a caesarean section is required then this would occur in Forbes.
Ms Mitchell said staff at Forbes hospital will be very pleased to take parents on tours of the hospital so they are familiar with the services before birth.
During each pregnancy, an assessment is made to identify the safest location for birth, taking into consideration the wellbeing of both mother and baby. In some cases, where a higher level care is needed, this may be Orange Hospital or, on occasion, Nepean Hospital.
Anyone with questions about how to access maternity services in Parkes or Forbes is encouraged to contact their local health services:
- Parkes hospital (02) 6861 2400
- Forbes hospital (02) 6850 7100.
The 2019-20 budget for Western New South Wales Local Health District is $979 million, this is an increase of $35 million on the previous year's annualised budget.