Promise must be kept

The Coffs Coast Advocate

'DON'T forget the promise'.

A reminder to the North Coast Area Health Service - that was the purpose of last Friday's Bellingen Hospital Maternity Unit rally.

Independent midwife Lyn Woodbury said following the much smaller rally three weeks ago, she felt it was important to keep the issue in everyone's mind.

“This is such a growth area, any downgrade of the local hospital services would be misguided,” Ms Woodbury said.

“We need to retain the maternity unit.

“At the moment the midwives there are being asked to do the impossible - they are having to be midwives and nurses at the same time. The area health service said 'yes' to the proposed team model and I know there are midwives who are keen to work within that model. I don't want that promise to be forgotten.”

More than 150 people gathered outside Bellingen Council Chambers in support of the maternity unit.

Yesterday the North Coast Area Health Service said the model's approval had always depended on funding and logistics.

“The implementation of this new model is currently on hold pending the outcome of a major review of staffing levels.”

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