"Concerned over lack of private rooms and space in the Birth Suite"

About: Broome Health Campus

(as the patient),

I'm due to have a baby, and am planning to be admitted as a private patient in a public hospital. I have read the signs outside Broome Hospital regarding the proposed? Ongoing? re-development of the hospital. As well, I have recently had a walk through both the maternity ward and birthing suite and would like to express some concerns I feel.

I noticed that there appeared to be only one single room for the whole ward, and given my personal situation I am concerned that I will not have access to this room and the degree of privacy I would like to have. I know that I will not be having a vaginal birth and therefore expect a longer recovery. So I am particularly concerned that I will be required to share a room which is not ideal for rest and recovery. Also given that I will be a private patient, I am concerned that as there only seems to be one room, I will be sharing a room as a public patient. I do not believe that one private room is sufficient given the large population that Broome Hospital serves.

The other concern I have is the size of the Birthing Suite and location of a designated smoking area outside the birthing suite window. It seemed to me that if an emergency were to develop, the birthing suite would be far too small to accommodate the necessary support team. I know that sometimes, in an emergency, up to 10 people are required to aid the mother and child and I cannot see how that number of people could fit in the birthing suite. There does appear to be space for expansion, however this is the smoking area. The location of the smoking area, directly outside the birthing suite seems inappropriate. I know the curtains will be closed, but it just doesn’t feel right.

I just hope that with the redevelopment of the hospital, these issues might be addressed, and I would like some reassurance that the single private room would be available for when I come to deliver my baby.

Responses

Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service We are preparing to make a change

picture of Maureen Crowther

Dear Private patient

Thank you for posting your story on Patient Opinion.

I have referred your concerns to our Regional Director of Nursing and Midwifery for comment.

Best wishes to you and your partner for your forthcoming birth.

Kind regards

Maureen

Dear Private patient

Thanks for raising your concerns about private room availability and space in the Birth Suite at Broome Hospital. As you have noted, there are ongoing plans for re-development of the hospital which include a midwifery led birthing suite adjacent to the hospital with efficient access to the hospital for emergency care; and remodelling of the Maternity Unit within the hospital to incorporate water birthing and as you suggest, more space. It is likely, the courtyard will indeed be consumed in this re-development project. These are currently only at concept stage and as you correctly point out, are still quite a way off being realised.

I want to re-assure you that clients electing to utilise their private health insurance are provided the single room if it is available, based on clinical priority. The fact that you will be recovering from surgery (Caesarian section), would prioritise you for single room, providing there was not another maternity patient with a higher priority. That said and if it is within the capability of the unit at the time, where the single room wasn’t available, you may be allocated a double room for just yourself and every effort would be made to offer you this alternative option.

I trust my response provides you some comfort in regard to the impending birth of your baby and the quality care you will receive whilst in the Broome maternity unit.

Regards

Carmen Morgan

Regional Director of Nursing and Midwifery.

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