WDHB chief executive welcomes report on Regional Women's Health Service review

3 March 2016
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) chief executive Julie Patterson has welcomed the report, released today by Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs, on a recent review of the Regional Women’s Health Service.
And Mrs Patterson fully supports the open and transparent follow-up that MidCentral DHB has conducted with six families who experienced serious adverse events in the Palmerston North Maternity Unit in 2014 and 2015. For five families, this meant the tragic loss of their baby.
“It takes courage to stand back and ask a panel of experts to expose your organisation’s weaknesses and strengths,” Mrs Patterson said. “MidCentral knows that Whanganui DHB staff will work constructively and supportively as the two DHBs work together to implement the recommendations of the review.”
The Whanganui Maternity Unit was reviewed as part of the process which included a serious adverse event for a Whanganui family. The panel supported the model of care in place at the Whanganui Maternity Unit.
“The one finding relating to Whanganui is that if we cannot recruit sufficient permanent obstetric staff, we would need to rely on locums which may not provide continuity of care for our women,” Mrs Patterson said.
“With this in mind, Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs will work together to address the recommendation that our two organisations develop a memorandum of understanding, or similar arrangement, that lays out clearly for staff and the community steps to take in the event of suspension of services due to staff shortages.”

Click here to view the Review of RWHS Maternity Service Report