Relief as funding agreed for maternity centre

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What’s important is we also do a lot of postnatal stays for women . . .There is light at the end of the tunnel for the Lumsden Maternity Centre, the future of which has been hanging in the balance.

It seemed the maternity centre would have to close if more funding was not secured through the Southern District Health Board, but an agreement has been reached with the board.

Northern Southland Medical Trust chairwoman Carrie Adams said the maternity centre was to have received the same annual level of funding it had since 2011.

That level was untenable.

There were 30 to 40 births at the centre per year.

“What’s important is we also do a lot of postnatal stays for women who didn’t birth with us,” Mrs Adams said.

That figure was about 80 a year – “and that’s increasing”, she said.

Mrs Adams said it had been a long struggle to secure the future of the maternity centre.

“It’s great; it’s a huge relief,” she said of the news.

“It’s been a fairly stressful time for both trustees and staff.”

While a deal had been struck with the SDHB to increase funding, the finer details of the negotiations were still to be released, Mrs Adams said.

The centreposted the following message on its Facebook page: “We’re just a bit pleased to let you know that an agreement has been reached with the Southern District Health Board.

“Lumsden maternity has received an increase in funding and remains open for business . . .”

Mrs Adams urged women to give birth at the centre in a bid to further secure its future.

The present funding contract was due to expire on July 30.

The centre is run by a company wholly owned by a community charitable trust.