"Labour, birth and postnatal facilities"

About: Broome Health Campus / Maternity/Midwifery

(as the patient),

I recently gave birth to my first child at Broome Regional Hospital. I feel the facilities available for women at this hospital are well overdue for an upgrade. 

I found the obstetric and midwifery care of an excellent standard for a country hospital, it's such a shame the ward doesn't share the same standard.

Since Broome Hospital is now the regional centre for the Kimberley region there has been an increase in the women using this facility in recent years, however, it hasn't had an upgrade since becoming the major centre or probably since it opened.  

There are only two labour and birth suites which are extremely small and old. In the middle of the wet season I was placed in one of these rooms which the air-conditioning wasn't working. I believe for patient safety these need to be made bigger. During a birth there can be multiple people in the one room, obstetric teams, paediatric teams plus midwives and family. The bath available to women for labour is so shallow it wouldn't be effective for a pain relief option as the water doesn't even cover your belly!
Post my long labour and Caesarean section I was extremely sleep deprived, I was placed into a 4-bed room with two other postnatal women and their babies. This room was extremely noisy as its next to a sliding door and a fire safe door, which staff used all night. To expect women to be able to recover from their birth in these room conditions is outrageous and I believe my postnatal recovery was affected by these conditions.
Postnatal depression and anxiety is linked to sleep deprivation. Caring for your own newborn post a long labour is hard enough without also being woken by other women and their babies in the same room. Broome Hospital doesn't have any single rooms for postnatal women! They only have two and four bedrooms. 

Responses

Response from Wendy McKinley, Operations Manager, Broome Hospital

picture of Wendy McKinley

Dear New broome mumma,

Congratulations on the birth of your firstborn! I hope things are going well with you both.

I am so sorry you did not enjoy birthing here at Broome. It's such an exciting and life altering experience that you want to be able to look back with fond memories.

It is great to hear that you found the care excellent and I will make a point of passing this feedback on to the team.

You are right in that there has not been an upgrade of the maternity unit in a very long time. We have recognised this as an issue and we are looking at options.

Unfortunately, funding aside, due to the nature of the Broome site (landlocked) we have very few options for expansion, which means that we are limited to refitting and re-configuring the existing space.

As a mother, myself, I know the value of sleep as a new parent. We would love to be able to offer a single room to every birthing mother, but we have to balance this with the needs of our other patients and work with the resources we have available.

All of our wards have shared rooms. We have very few single rooms and these are used primarily for patients requiring isolation for medical reasons or for private patients (when they are available).

Broome Hospital does have one single room that can be used for post natal women who elect to use their private health insurance (when it is available).

We would genuinely welcome your input into the future plans for this area and would love to hear from you in more detail.

I can be contacted on (08) 9195 2855 or via email at wendy.mckinley@health.wa.gov.au

Thanks for posting your feedback, New broome mumma; we are keen to listen and learn and really do see feedback as an opportunity to do better and look at what we do through fresh eyes.

Hopefully, you are getting more sleep these days (maybe not).

All the best to you and yours, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely

Wendy

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