Lachlan Health Service reminds Parkes community babies will be born in Forbes for time being

Since announcing birthing services will not return to the Parkes Hospital until the end of next year, the Lachlan Health Service is reminding pregnant women and their families in the shire of the changes to local maternity services.

The Health Service announced in October it will be introducing a midwife-led birthing service at the Parkes Hospital at the end of 2020.

While this new maternity service model is being developed, babies from Parkes, Forbes and surrounding communities will be born at Forbes Hospital where, Lachlan Health Service said, midwifery, obstetric and anaesthetic services are available around the clock.

Lachlan Health Service Manager, Liz Mitchell, said work on the new Lachlan Maternity Service is progressing and that the community will receive regular updates.

"We will be working hard to further develop our midwifery group practice 'Know your Midwife' services in 2020, and in the interim we want women and families to have accurate information about how to access the maternity services they need," Ms Mitchell said.

Birthing is not currently available at Parkes Hospital, but the Lachlan Health Service said in a statement on Monday that procedures are in place to respond to emergencies.

Parkes Hospital is continuing to provide women with pre and post-natal care and fortnightly clinics.

With the future midwife-led birthing service, women will be able to choose to have their babies in Parkes Hospital if the pregnancy and birth are assessed to be low risk.

If an induction of labour or a caesarean section is required, this will occur in Forbes.

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Ms Mitchell said staff at Forbes Hospital are happy to take parents on tours of the hospital so they are familiar with the services before birth.

During each pregnancy, Lachlan Health Service said an assessment is made to identify the safest location for birth, taking into consideration the wellbeing of both mother and baby.

"In some cases, where a higher level of care is needed, this may be Orange Hospital or, on occasion, Nepean Hospital," the statement read.

The Lachlan Health Service encourages anyone with questions about how to access maternity services in Parkes or Forbes to contact their local health services on 6861 2400 for Parkes Hospital or 6850 7100 for Forbes Hospital.

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