A recent article by The Age newspaper has reported on allegations that
Werribee Mercy Hospital maternity services are unsafe.
Werribee Mercy Hospital disputes these allegations, which are misleading.
Victorians generally are afforded very high quality maternity and obstetric
services. Werribee Mercy Hospital is no exception. It is routinely one of the better
performing community hospitals in Victoria in relation to maternity andbirthing outcomes.
Werribee Mercy Hospital is supported by Mercy Hospital for Women as well as
other surrounding large health services. Mercy Hospital for Women is a tertiary
specialist maternity hospital and has consistently rated as one of the top
performing Victorian maternity hospitals. It is a strength of Mercy Health’s services
that Werribee Mercy Hospital is supported by the Mercy Hospital for Women team in providing care, training and education
The Werribee Mercy Hospital maternity unit itself is a modern and well equipped
service. The State Government funded a new postnatal unit and special care
nursery, which were completed in 2012. At the same time, the birthing suites
were upgraded to modern standards. Mercy Health has also recently upgraded the
labour assessment rooms.
There has been significant planned growth in birthing services at Werribee
Mercy Hospital over recent years. Staffing has been increased in line with the
increased birth numbers. Staffing has been and remains compliant with the EBA. Our
staff are committed professionals who manage the peaks and troughs of the maternity
service. As with all hospitals, our clinical teams prioritise patients according
to their medical needs.
Sometimes a mother’s labour progresses very quickly and there are times when
babies are born unexpectedly at homes, in cars, car parks or even on the side
of the road. When a birth is imminent, any hospital or first responder’s
priority is the safety of the mother and the baby, and appropriately this means
assisting with the birth where and when it is occurring.
Werribee Mercy Hospital has an incident management system and comprehensive
clinical review processes in place.
Staff are encouraged and expected to report issues through these means where
they are investigated by senior clinicians and managers and reported through
the organisation’s clinical governance processes. Consistent with the clinical
governance framework operating in Victoria and many other jurisdictions,
reviews are undertaken with a view to improving services at every
Werribee Mercy Hospital proactively instigated a review of its Maternity
Services in February 2016. It is responsible and an expectation that hospitals
will review services when there has been a comprehensive report released into
systemic failures at another health service. The staff concerns raised through
the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) will be incorporated
into the review. We invite the ANMF to continue to work with Werribee Mercy
Hospital in a collaborative way to resolve issues that are raised by staff.
We are mindful that reports such as the one published in The Age can affect
patient and community confidence in hospital services. We would like to
reassure you that Mercy Health is a service with more than 40 years’ history of
providing high quality and safe services to the Victorian community. If you
have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director,
Nursing and Midwifery for Health Services, Alison Patrick, on 8458 4628.