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The decision comes following extensive engagement with LMC midwives, health care workers, iwi, and community members, and is a further step towards implementing the Integrated Primary Maternity System of Care launched in 2018.
In supporting the establishment of the Unit, the board has agreed to a two- unit solution for the Central Otago and Wanaka area, with a second unit to be located at Dunstan Hospital in Clyde. The Clyde unit will replace Charlotte Jean Maternity, currently located in Alexandra.
There is also a primary birthing unit at Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown.
Southern DHB board chair Pete Hodgson said approving the Wanaka facility was a recognition of the town’s growing population, long distances from other centres, and the willingness of LMCs in the area to explore new approaches to working to create a sustainable service for the community.
It is anticipated that as well as providing a location for primary birthing and postnatal stays, the facilities will perform the function of the existing maternal and child hub. This includes space for LMC clinical activity, antenatal care, telehealth and clinics with consultants.
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