Interior Health has announced full maternity services at Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) has been restored as of July 1.
“It was at the end of February we had to stop delivering maternity services to CMH. After April 30, we were able to open up services back up for low-risk maternity services, including low-risk deliveries,” said Karen Bloemink, vice-president of clinical operations for IH North.”
She confirmed that the hospital is now able to provide full service beginning on Canada Day, including prenatal care, full-term labour and delivery support, delivery and postnatal care.
According to Bloemink, eight new nurses have been hired and are now in place in CMH, allowing the hospital to return to its previous level of service delivery.
“We used a variety of methods,” she said about the hirings. “We continued with our internal and external [and] quite broad recruitment efforts for qualified nurses that included going to the other facilities in IH and other health authorities where providers were released and came to Williams Lake to provide short-term support for the unit while we were working internally on training our own specialized nurses.”
Bloemink said the eight new nurses bring CMH to the baseline required to provide a full maternity service. Two of the nurses were hired in April, another one in June. Five of the nurses are now fully trained and will begin on July 1.
“We are still using agency nurses to cover vacation and to make sure that we are able to be flexible in case we have unexpected absences,” she added.