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Decision not to have public inquiry into Lumsden maternity hub welcomed

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Southern DHB has welcomed the Health Select Committee’s decision not to undertake a public inquiry into the transition of the Lumsden Maternity Centre to a maternal and child hub.

Southern DHB Executive Director Strategy, Primary and Community Lisa Gestro said significant progress was being made with other stakeholders to look at the needs for maternity services in the Northern Southland area.

In addition, Southern DHB has two reviews underway to look at the implementation of the wider primary maternity system of care, and recent cases where babies have been born in places other than the planned place of birth.

“We are pleased the committee has decided to back these processes and allow us to focus on working on a way forward in relation to maternity services.

“Providing sustainable maternity services in rural areas is challenging for a range of reasons and requires a whole of system approach, involving LMC midwives, the Ministry of Health, and other health care providers - and goes beyond what we can provide in a maternal and child hub. Addressing this constructively is a better use of our resources than relitigating a decision around a specific facility, and we are pleased the Committee has recognised this.”