St John of God Health Care unveils new model of maternity services

23 Nov 2023

By The Record

A SJGHC nurse with a newborn. St John of God Health Care has unveiled a new north/south model of private maternity care across its Perth metropolitan private hospitals, providing parents-to-be with expanded world-class maternity services. Photo: Supplied.

St John of God Health Care has unveiled a new north/south model of private maternity care across its Perth metropolitan private hospitals, providing parents-to-be with expanded world-class maternity services.

Under the new model, St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital maternity services will transfer to St John of God Subiaco Hospital to consolidate the group’s northern private services. There will be no changes to maternity services at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

The two centres of excellence are well positioned to cater for Perth’s growing population and the future demand for high quality private maternity services.

St John of God Health Care CEO Bryan Pyne said the transfer would take place on 20 December 2023, enabling the organisation to respond to workforce challenges and better align service capability with community needs.

“Providing exceptional patient care remains our number one priority. This has been our focus and will continue to be our focus after the transfer,” Mr Pyne said.

“Our community’s needs are changing and we are seeing private maternity admissions dropping across our hospitals as the birth rate in Western Australia trends downwards.

“It is also becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the highly skilled maternity workforce across three hospital sites, especially over holiday periods.

“Despite our best efforts to resolve these workforce issues over the past two years, we need to transfer Mt Lawley maternity services before Christmas to ensure continuity of care and to maintain our high standard of care for our patients.

“Consolidating private maternity services at two sites will enable us to continue to develop and enhance our services with our highly skilled workforce.

“St John of God Subiaco Hospital has the capacity to provide these services and is well progressed with the planning to deliver a new eight-storey clinical facility that will include a world-class Mother and Baby Centre.”

An artist’s impression of new clinical block at St John of God Subiaco Hospital. Image: Supplied.

All Mt Lawley midwives, nurses and obstetricians are being consulted and supported through the transition, and there will be no job losses. All births planned for Mt Lawley can be accommodated at Subiaco hospital.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital CEO Tina Chinery said parents-to-be transferring to Subiaco would be well looked after and enjoy the birth experience they planned, with additional services such as a neonatal nursery should their newborn need any extra care.

“St John of God Subiaco has been delivering babies for 85 years and we are thrilled to welcome new parents-to-be and caregivers to this hospital,” Ms Chinery said.

“Consolidating the wealth of knowledge and experience of the Mt Lawley and Subiaco teams is the first step towards delivering our new Mother and Baby Centre at Subiaco.

“The move provides St John of God Health Care with an opportunity to co-design a new service delivery model with both our clinicians and community, focusing not only on delivery but pre and post-natal care, including the fourth trimester.”

St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital CEO Vanessa Unwin said the organisation was extremely proud of the maternity services it had offered at Mt Lawley, but the sustainability of its services depended on responding to the community’s changing needs.

“I look forward to seeing the evolution of maternity care at Subiaco in a centre of excellence and the continued delivery of outstanding care at Murdoch,” Ms Unwin said.

“I would like to thank our wonderful team of doctors and caregivers at Mt Lawley for their dedication to the care of women and babies and look forward to seeing how St John of God Health Care continues to develop an exceptional experience for parents-to-be.”