Pregnant women will have the access to pre and post-natal care at Yass Hospital with the appointment of a part-time midwife within two months.
Southern NSW Director of Nursing and Midwifery Heather Austin said the department had already appointed an administrative person to be the initial point of contact and take appointments.
It was in the process of recruiting a midwife to work in Yass two days per week, or the equivalent number of hours.
The midwife will operate out of Queanbeyan Hospital and spend one day per fortnight at Queanbeyan performing care and paperwork duties such as reviewing policies and statistics.
Ms Austin said the midwife needed to be attached to a larger maternity service within NSW Health to maintain currency. However she envisioned the midwife would also need to liaise regularly with Calvary and Canberra Hospitals, as these places were where a lot of Yass Valley mothers tended to birth.
“Her practise and advice has to be consistent with what’s going on in those areas… so that it’s a seamless service,” she said.
Prospective mothers will still need to enrol with the hospital where they plan to give birth.
“So they will still need to engage with their hospital… but I think this will be a great service and I’m sure it will be appreciated by the prospective mothers.”
The funding commitment would be reviewed in 12 months.
“Who knows what the uptake will be, and the demand will be? Because it’s a new service, it’s really untested.”
The clerical person will be available to take appointments five days of the week.
Yass mother and lobbyist for maternity services, Jasmin Jones, said the funding was welcome relief but she was still pushing for a full-time midwife, and preferably one from Yass.
“It’s welcome relief for local mothers not to have to haul down the Barton Highway for every check or scan, especially when they have children at school here and need to get back in time for the school pick-up,” she said.
She was now lobbying the state government to match the federal funding.