Midwives team up to offer Stratford service

A new entity bringing together the expertise of two experienced midwives will be delivering maternity services for families in Stratford from the beginning of next month.

Maternity Services Taranaki will be based at Elizabeth R Hospital, which is owned by aged care provider Bupa.

Bupa bought the rest home last year, but did not want to continue to provide maternity services, so the new company has been awarded the contract by the Taranaki District Health Board.

Bupa will lease the facility, which will now be called Stratford Maternity Unit - Te Whare Whanau, to the new company.

Stratford midwife Sharon Robinson has joined forces with Kirsty Rance, a Nelson midwife who is experienced in managing maternity services.

Maternity Services Taranaki will take advantage of the experience of its sister company, Maternity Services, which has operated the Nelson Bays Maternity Unit for almost 10 years. Rance will be based in Nelson and will come up to Taranaki regularly, Robinson said.

"She will be providing supervision, quality control and mentoring me."

The women plan to hire four midwives and are also looking at employing registered nurses.

Rance said it was important that the unit was run by midwives who were the experts in low risk "normal" care of pregnant women, mothers and babies.

"Midwives really do understand the impact of their decisions as manager."

Taranaki District Health Board general manager planning and funding, Becky Jenkins, said there was a real commitment from Maternity Services Taranaki, the DHB and Bupa to ensure a service remained in the area.

"There was a lot of work done to ensure the maternity service for Stratford women will work into the future and I am confident mothers, their babies and their families will be served well at this special time in their life."

Taranaki Daily News