3 December 2004
Proposal To Change Community Midwifery Service
The CDHB’s Women’s Health Division has announced a proposal to change the Division’s Community Midwifery Service.
Women’s & Children’s Health Division General Manager Pauline Burt said the Community Midwifery Service was based at Christchurch
Women’s hospital, Rangiora hospital and the Burwood birthing unit.
Community midwives were not part of the core midwifery staff employed within the Division, she said. They were midwives
who offered the same type of care as independent (self employed) midwives. About 13 midwives would be affected by the
proposal, but, Ms Burt said all staff could be accommodated within the existing service.
‘This proposal is in line with moves made by other DHBs in New Zealand. More and more women are choosing an independent
midwife as their Lead Maternity Carer rather than a midwife employed by the DHB. This means that the midwives we employ
as a community service are not getting the caseloads.’
Ms Burt said the principle of choice for pregnant women was very important and there was no shortage of independent
midwives in Canterbury.
‘We are fortunate because so many midwives who complete their training opt to stay here,’ she said.
Women who had already elected a community midwife as their Lead Maternity Carer would be notified by letter and all the
options explained to them if the proposal for change was accepted.
‘We have initiated a month-long consultation period and a decision will be made early in February whether to proceed.
None of our birthing facilities will be affected by this proposal. It is all about ensuring the best care available for
Ms Burt gave an assurance that the Women’s Health Division would help every woman to find a midwife if the proposed
changes went ahead.
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based hospital and healthcare provider for the
Canterbury region of New Zealand. Our region extends from Kekerengu in the North, to Rangitata in the South and Arthurs
Pass in the West and comprises the six Territorial Local Authorities of Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch
City, Selwyn and Ashburton.
We collaborate with other health and disability organisations, stakeholders and our community to decide what health and
disability services are needed and how to best use the funding we receive from Government to improve, promote and
protect the health, wellbeing and independence of our population.
At the Canterbury DHB, our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Canterbury.