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Giving Waitemata babies ‘the best start in life’

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Congrats to all who voted for the birthing unit plan, it finally came to its fruition and now North Shore is looking forward to its first ever shore based birthing units.

Waitemata District Health Board has given in-principle approval to plans to establish an urban primary birthing unit – a direct response to community requests to provide more choices for the district’s population.

Dear Lola,

Last year, you gave feedback on primary birthing units and we are delighted to let you know that the DHB Board has now given in-principle approval to plans to establish an urban primary birthing unit in Waitakere.

The unit would be built on the Waitakere Hospital site and the Board is now doing investigative work that will establish timeframes, with a goal of completion in the 2019/2020 financial year.

The proposed 500m² facility will be designed with input from the community, clinicians and other key stakeholders to ensure a culturally appropriate space with flexible bed capacity.

It could also cater for the colocation of pregnancy and parenting classes as well as various other services for parents and infants.

Over 2800 babies were born in Waitakere in the year ending June 2017 and that number is expected to rise by up to 700 infants per annum by 2025.

Overall population growth across the Waitemata district is also set to rise by 15% over the same period.

“The greatest demographic growth is predicted in the west, which is why we are initially focussing our efforts on Waitakere,” Waitemata DHB Director of Funding Dr Debbie Holdsworth says.

“We undertook an extensive community consultation to understand what our community wanted from this facility and how it would be used. Overall, the community was significantly in favour of a West Auckland-located facility run by Waitemata DHB.

“The needs of other parts of our district will be addressed in the next stages of our ongoing investment in supporting mothers and their babies.”

Dr Holdsworth says the Waitakere site was among a range of scenarios explored for an urban option. “It is well-known to our community and we have suitable land available which will make starting this project much easier,” she says.

“This could well be the first phase of a broader programme to develop more fit-for-purpose, primary birthing units in Waitemata once the Waitakere model is up-and-running successfully.”

Further information is available through the full media release: http://www.waitematadhb.govt.nz/news/posts/giving-waitemata-babies-the-best-start-in-life/

Thank-you again for your involvement in the consultation.

With warm wishes

Carol

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