More women in Bacchus Marsh will be able to give birth closer to home with the revamp of maternity services at Djerriwarrh Health Services now complete.
The $1.59 million expansion and refurbishment of Bacchus Marsh and Melton Regional Hospital increased the number of post-delivery maternity beds from 11 to 15, giving the hospital the capacity to cater for up to 1200 births a year.
It also includes better nurse workstations, a new three-bay nursery and upgraded delivery suites to improve care and comfort for mothers and babies.
The upgrade was part of an overhaul to provide safer and better care in birthing services in the wake of revelations there had been 11 cases of potentially avoidable newborn and stillborn deaths at the hospital between 2001 and 2014.
Djerriwarrh Health Services administrator John Ballard said the upgrade was another “vote of confidence in Djerriwarrh Health Services and its future”.
“The new maternity unit will equip the hospital and its staff to better meet and deliver outstanding levels of care for all patients, residents and clients,” Dr Ballard said at last Wednesday’s opening.
Chief executive Belinda Scott said the refurbishment was a significant boost for the Health Service, and the wider communities of Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Caroline Springs.
“It’s energising to step into this rejuvenated building, which sets up the health service for the long term,” Ms Scott said.
She said investment by the state government, along with a generous donation from the local ladies auxiliary, would allow the hospital to substantially upgrade and expand its level of patient care.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy officially opened the unit and said the aim was to deliver the best possible care in the best facilities.
“We’re working hard so that mums in Bacchus Marsh can feel confident they are accessing the safest and highest quality birthing services, right here,” Ms Hennessy said.
Bacchus Marsh and Melton Regional Hospital is also undergoing a $9 million expansion, building two extra operating theatres and refurbishing the existing theatre with the latest technology and equipment.