Planned caesarean, induction births to resume at St John of God Geraldton Hospital

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
St John of God Geraldton Hospital has resumed some of its maternity services.
Camera IconSt John of God Geraldton Hospital has resumed some of its maternity services. Credit: Edward Scown/Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton’s private hospital has reopened to expectant mothers as it resumes a limited maternity service.

St John of God Geraldton Hospital closed its maternity ward in November because of a midwife shortage, with COVID vaccine mandates also contributing to low staffing numbers.

The hospital is now taking bookings for births by scheduled caesarean and inductions of mothers who have had a low-risk pregnancy.

Antenatal care will also resume, with services to be provided through telehealth and the hospital’s midwives.

But women who go into labour naturally must still go to Geraldton Health Campus if they wish to give birth locally.

Phillip Balmer has been appointed CEO of St John of God Hospital Geraldton after the closure of their maternity ward.
Camera IconPhillip Balmer has been appointed CEO of St John of God Hospital Geraldton after the closure of their maternity ward. Credit: Edward Scown/Geraldton Guardian

Hospital chief executive Phillip Balmer said additional staff had come on board since the ward’s temporary closure, allowing some maternity services to resume.

“We have worked hard to successfully recruit more midwives, with seven recently joining our team, as well as employing two student midwives who will complete their training with us in the next six months, and upskilling our nurses to provide this important care,” he said.

“We now have enough committed and experienced midwifery and nursing staff to expand the existing postnatal service to include a planned caesarean section or induction of labour where clinically recommended at the beginning of each week.

Postnatal services resumed at the hospital in January, allowing women who had given birth at Geraldton Health Campus to transfer to the private hospital for postnatal care, within four to six hours after birth.

Mr Balmer said more than 25 mothers and babies had used this service since it became available.

“We are so pleased that we are once again offering some maternity services to our Geraldton and Mid West community who want the option of private maternity care close to home,” he said.

“Families have told us they really value the care, and support we offer.”

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