New consolidated maternity services have commenced in the North West from today to provide better, safer care to mothers and babies across the North West Coast.

Based on the best clinical advice from specialists, the integrated maternity service will see the North West Private Hospital at Burnie provide birthing services, while antenatal and postnatal services all across the Coast will for the first time be delivered by the Tasmanian Health Service at the Mersey Community Hospital, the North West Regional Hospital and some rural outreach locations.

The move to providing birthing in one location is part of the government’s One Health System reforms and comes after substantial consultation with medical professionals and the community.

The new service at Burnie offers many benefits to expectant mothers, including better access to specialised services such as paediatrics, an expansion of antenatal and postnatal care, greater levels of midwife led outreach and homes visits after the birth.

The popular Midwifery Group Practice model has been retained and will allow mothers-to-be to have a known midwifery team providing support before, during and after the birth of their child.

North West Private Hospital chief executive Keith Cock said, “We are looking forward to supporting women and their families from the Devonport region through our hospital from November 1. The North West Private Hospital has been working with the Tasmanian Health Service to ensure that the transition of inpatient and birthing service at Burnie is seamless and has minimal impact on expectant mothers and their families.’’

Women and babies currently receiving care at the Mersey will receive care there until they are ready to go home.

All expectant mothers have been contacted directly about the change to birthing services.

The Hodgman Government is committed to providing better quality health services to all Tasmanians and that is what we are delivering with the changes to maternity services in the North West.

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