- Future of the Bentley Health Service Maternity Unit secured for at least five years
- About 800 babies born every year at the community maternity unit
- The McGowan Government recognises the importance of this dedicated local facility
Health Minister Roger Cook today formally announced that the Maternity Unit of the Bentley Health Service will remain open and further guaranteed its operation for at least another five years.
The Minister said the unit played a vital role in the local community - last year more than 800 babies were born at Bentley Hospital.
Bentley Health Service is noted for the extremely diverse population base that it serves, with 70 per cent of women who use the maternity facilities not having English as their first language.
The maternity unit comprises 23 beds, in addition to three labour rooms, and two assessment rooms.
This year the unit launched a new 'shared care' pathway model, which is a joint arrangement between Bentley Hospital and GPs in Western Australia.
Patients who choose shared care deliver their baby at Bentley Maternity Unit.
The arrangement allows healthy, low-risk pregnant women to continue to see their GP for most antenatal appointments during their pregnancy but also includes antenatal care with a specialist obstetrician at Bentley Antenatal Clinic, within Bentley Health Service.
Significantly, the maternity unit at Bentley Health Service employs a range of medical and ancillary staff - from nurses and midwives, to specialist clinicians and administrators to kitchen assistants.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The Bentley Health Service has a long and proud history of providing vital health services to the local community, and last year celebrated its 50th birthday.
"We are providing much needed certainty to this vital service to ensure it continues to be part of the local community for at least a further five years. The Bentley maternity unit was on the brink of closing based on the Liberals' and Nationals' decision.
"The former Liberal National Government were forced to backflip on their dreadful decision to close this important facility; the McGowan Government recognises the important role it plays in the community and are backing it into the future.
"The maternity unit's new 'shared care' pathway model welcomed its first patient earlier this year and the funding announced today ensures that services continue to be available for local women.
"The arrangement has been warmly welcomed by medical and midwifery staff as well as the local community."
Minister's office - 6552 6500