The new state-of-the-art Thames Birthing Unit will allow women in the Thames, Coromandel and Hauraki regions to receive excellent maternity care in a welcoming, holistic new facility.
The new facility was opened today (Monday 5 September) with a blessing at 6am and the official opening at 11am.
Thames charge midwife manager, Louise Rowden, pictured, said it was a proud day for the community.
Waikato District Health Board (DHB) pou heranga, Kingi Turner and Rev Wally Wells began the opening with a karakia, before the Thames waiata group performed.
Waikato DHB board member, Martin Gallagher acknowledged key organisations involved and paid credit to their tenacity and vision.
“Ros Morell (project manager), the late Brendan Hague and their team took dreams and requirements and shaped them into a do-able plan.
“Thames Coromandel District Council have lent their support to the project and the consenting process and also the builders Jennian Homes Coromandel, in particular Stephen and Haley Trebilco and Ryan Tohaia,” said Mr Gallagher.
He also gave particular thanks to the mothers in the Thames area who were surveyed and gave the project team a steer in the right direction.
“It’s about recognising the needs of our local communities, and working with them to get results.”
Mark Spittal, group manager Waikato and Thames hospitals spoke of one of the key aspects of the birthing unit project – the importance of the moving away from a hospital-style environment.
“The “un-hospital-like” qualities (the birthing unit) displays are actually qualities we are trying to bring more into our hospital settings – people friendly (both for staff and users), calm spaces, personal touches, light and colour, a balance of technology with humanity and clinical with kindness,” said Mr Spittal.
“This is an exciting and watershed moment for maternity in Thames.”
Director of nursing and midwifery, Sue Hayward acknowledged the commitment from Waikato DHB midwives, in particular Louise Rowden and Corli Roodt (clinical midwife director).
“They have provided advice, ideas and critical appraisals around all aspects of the design and furnishing, has meant that, what we have will indeed be “fit for purpose,” said Mrs Hayward.
She also touched on the benefits of having a primary birthing unit, which will provide a centralised place for other organisations involved in pre and post birthing.
“This facility is staffed by midwives supported by enrolled nurses and health care assistants. They are here to provide expert care for women and to ensure that the facility and other supports are here for lead maternity carers when they are also here providing care for their women.
”What I am sure you will all agree, is that the women using this unit and being supported by their midwife or families, will have a more enjoyable experience because of the well designed facility,” she said.
The Thames Birthing Unit will be open for business from Wednesday 7 September.
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