Statement concerning Southern Maternity System of Care Proposal from
Lisa Gestro, Executive Director, Strategy, Primary and Community, Southern DHB:

There has been a lot of interest generated by Southern DHB’s review of primary maternity services across the district and, in particular, the Southern Maternity System of Care Proposal which was released for final review on 6 March.

We’ve received a large amount of thoughtful input and we greatly appreciate that people have provided their feedback. We’ve also taken this time to seek extra clinical assurance and conduct final due diligence of policies relating to the services. Of course, there’s also been the government’s budget and its announcement of new funding for midwifery, primary care, and DHBs to consider.

As a consequence of all this additional information, we’ve decided to postpone releasing the final primary maternity plan. This is to ensure we adequately review and evaluate all information that is available to us.

We now expect to release the Southern Maternity System of Care Plan by mid to late June.

Deciding the future configuration of primary maternity services across the entire district is very important and we must do all we can to get it right, and find the best possible solution to support women and babies, their families and whānau, and to provide maternity services that are safe, equitable and sustainable. 

I apologise for this delay in providing a final decision. I recognise that many people and communities are waiting for a resolution and this may cause additional concern.

Primary maternity care is an important part of Southern health system and is integral to our larger Primary and Community Care Strategy and we want to do all we can to make the best decisions today to ensure health services meet the needs of patients and communities in the future.