Check out the completed photos of the Te Awamutu Birthing Center at http://www.dkdesignerhomes.co.nz/projects/
Te Awamutu’s new birthing centre will be built by DK Builders at the Mega centre on Cambridge Road. After a year of uncertainty over the future of maternity services in Te Awamutu a decision by the Waikato District Health Board has paved the way for a private maternity unit.
The New Zealand Institute of Community Health Care had carried out the study for Waikato DHB earlier in 2013, looking at the future of primary birthing facilities in Te Awamutu. The study came about after a steady increase in the number of women choosing to have their babies in Hamilton rather than in their own community.
The review team, headed by Dr Chris Hendry, a midwife with more than 30 years’ experience, undertook a detailed review of factors impacting on the reduced use of these facilities by local women, and recommended that birthing and labour services for Morrinsville/Te Aroha and Te Awamutu women, be consolidated in Hamilton.
Three public consultation meetings were held in Te Awamutu, and while there was no disputing the figures, the public made it clear the reason for the decline in birthing in Te Awamutu was due to the run-down and out-of-date nature of the facilities, rather than the quality of care and expertise available here.
Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest and Council, represented by Te Awamutu councillor Hazel Barnes, put their weight behind a proposal to maintain services in Te Awamutu. By April this year Waikato DHB had made the announcement that Te Awamutu’s Matariki Maternity Unit would close, but significantly were open to hearing proposals for a private facility from a group of mainly health professionals who formed a working party to investigate other options for the town.
The Waikato DHB approved the proposal from Te Awamutu Birthing and signed off a three year agreement for a birthing hub, from September 1, 2015, as well as giving the group the go ahead to sub-lease Matariki Maternity Unit from February 1 to September 1 to operate an interim service. Health Board members were pleased to support the proposal, saying it was an excellent arrangement which made sense for the Te Awamutu community.