Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Victoria General Hospital’s maternity team will now have in-house registered midwives

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Maternity care just got a little better!

Expecting parents and care providers on southern Vancouver Island will soon have access to more hospital-based support thanks to the implementation of an In-House Registered Midwife (IHRM) position at Victoria General Hospital (VGH).

This means that a Registered Midwife will be present on-site at VGH, and will be there to support patients arriving at the hospital in labour or seeking other maternity-related care.

“It’s important that everyone has equal access to the specialized health care they need and in their own communities,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. 

“We’re committed to working with Island Health, midwives and physicians to ensure that care plans are in place for unattached labouring patients, providing pregnant people with exceptional care close to home.”

According to a media release, the IHRM will be prepared and able to support patients and care providers in the following ways:

  • Assist in providing emergency assessments for patients whose community primary care provider is not immediately available
  • Provide assessments and support for clients who do not have a community primary care provider or are receiving care through VGH’s Antenatal Care Clinic
  • Conduct deliveries for clients receiving care through VGH’s Antenatal Care Clinic and patients transferred to VGH from other communities
  • Provide assistance to family practice physicians, when clinically appropriate, during periods of high patient volume
  • Provide in-hospital postpartum care for clients receiving care through VGH’s Antenatal Care Clinic and arrange community-based postpartum care after discharge

“We know there is much more work to be done in collaboration with our care providers, Registered Midwives, physician partners and the Ministry of Health to develop a sustainable maternity service that meets the needs of all pregnant patients on the south island,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. 

“The development of the IHRM position at VGH is an important step towards our long-term goals, and will benefit patients and care providers.”

Funding for the position has been approved—Island Health will now work on developing staffing models and begin to recruit more Registered Midwives to support the role. 

“Registered Midwives are being increasingly recognized as key members of our multi-disciplinary perinatal care team, and for the important role they play in providing quality care for pregnant and birthing clients,” said Jill Pearman, Island Health’s Medical Director for Midwifery. 

“This new and innovative position presents an exciting opportunity to optimize our workforce, and to build a new team based service for our perinatal clients. I am grateful to the Midwives who have already stepped up to participate in this new way of providing midwifery care at VGH.”

An IHRM has been on-site for shifts since September 25th and the service will be built up in the weeks and months ahead. 

Their end goal is to have an IHRM at VGH at all times, 24/7 for anyone who may need the support. 

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