Maternity hub proposed for Hastings
Maternity beds in Napier could close and women could instead be directed to a new million-dollar maternity hub at the main hospital in Hastings.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board is reviewing maternity services in the region for the first time since Hastings and Napier hospitals merged in 1999.
Building a standalone $1.5 million to $2m maternity hub at Hawke's Bay Hospital where women who were deemed "low risk" could have their babies was the preferred option, chief executive Kevin Snee said.
The hospital's maternity unit, Ata Rangi, is tailored for "high-risk" women who need intervention. It would remain open.
Nine out of 10 women chose to have their babies at the hospital, rather than the birthing unit at Napier Health Centre, where there were three inpatient maternity beds, Dr Snee said.
"If the public agreed with us, we would also like to develop a pregnancy and maternity support centre at the Napier Health Centre, which would provide a venue for meetings, pregnancy education, breastfeeding support and updated maternity information."
The board also wants to open a pregnancy and support centre in Central Hawke's Bay. The cost of this had not been estimated.
Wairoa women were also the focus, with the board proposing to "enhance" maternity care either through the hospital or for it to be more community-led.
"The community needs to tell us what would encourage more people to have their babies in Wairoa, so we hope consultation will do that," Dr Snee said.
People can have their say on the proposals until November 21.
- © Fairfax NZ News