Maternity, ante and post-natal services will continue to be available at Southern DHB hospitals during planned industrial action by some DHB-employed midwives over the next two weeks.
Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) members across the country are striking one to two times a day, for two hours, between 22 November and 5 December. This includes some members employed by the Southern DHB, but doesn’t include other Lead Maternity Carers, such as community LMC midwives or obstetricians, who will continue to provide care and carry out duties as usual.
“Our maternity units are open and we will continue to provide the care and support that new and expectant mothers and their babies require,” says Jane Wilson, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Southern DHB. “Patient safety remains our priority and a contingency planning team has worked to minimise disruption and ensure appropriate support is in place.”
New or expectant mothers who have any questions or concerns should contact their lead maternity provider in the first instance or consult their GP. As is always the case, in emergencies people should dial 111.
“Our midwives are valued members of the Southern DHB workforce and we recognise their dedication to providing care for women and their babies,” says Chris Fleming, Chief Executive, Southern DHB. “We also respect their right to take this action and we appreciate that all staff will continue to be supportive and respectful of one another at this time.”