Werribee Mercy Hospital maternity services

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 services. 

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 opportunity. 

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.

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