Local News

Birthing services restricted at GBH

Expectant and birthing mothers across the Clarence Valley have been advised to seek alternative specialist care this week after it was revealed Grafton Base Hospital (GBH) will have no on-site obstetrician available between August 2-6.

In a statement released on August 2, Wayne Jones, Chief Executive of the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) said all efforts have been made to source specialist obstetrician cover at GBH, adding every step is being taken to secure appropriate consult cover and obstetric services going forward.

Mr Jones said the NNSWLHD has been “actively recruiting to this specialist role for a period of time,” however, they are relying on locums to fill shortages.

Mr Jones said on this occasion, there is no locum available.

“All women who are due to give birth in the coming weeks have been advised of these changes and have been referred to Lismore Base Hospital for birthing over the next four days,” he said.

“Both Lismore Base Hospital and Coffs Harbour Health Campus have been notified of the situation.

“The safety of mothers and babies is our primary concern, and while this arrangement will mean longer travel times, it is a necessary step to maintain appropriate clinical support,” he said.

“We apologise to pregnant women and their families for the inconvenience this has caused.”

Mr Jones said women who are being cared for through GBH should continue to contact their usual midwife for advice and care coordination during their pregnancy.
Midwives are in place at GBH, and will have access to an obstetrics
consultant through telehealth during this time.