Maternity ward back on track at Cariboo Memorial Hospital

No further closures expected

Residents can be confident that maternity services at Cariboo Memorial Hospital will not be further interrupted, said Thalia Vesterback, Interior Health acute services director for the Williams Lake and 100 Mile House hospitals.

Vesterback wanted to reassure expectant mothers and their families that full in-patient maternity services have resumed and no further closures are expected.

Read More: Full maternity services are restored at Cariboo Memorial Hospital

“We have enough fully trained maternity nurses in place at Cariboo Memorial, which allowed us to return to our previous level of service as of July 1,” said Vesterback. “We believe we are well prepared with existing numbers of trained maternity nurses, along with an ongoing education plan and active recruitment efforts to ensure more nurses are trained into the future.”

Vesterback wanted to confirm the services have been fully restored since the end of June, after comments made during a public meeting at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus last week where Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said there may be further closures to the ward.

Read More: Calls for TRU to enhance nursing program heard at Envision TRU consultation

Vesterback noted that some mothers who are high risk will go to a larger hospital to deliver their babies, as they have in the past.

“Those decisions are made in consultation with attending physicians and always with the health and safety of mom and babe in mind.”

She said on occasion the hospital will also use agency nurses for support to cover vacations or unexpected absences.

Interior Health stopped delivering full maternity services to CMH from the end of February until the end of June due to a critical staffing shortage.

Between July 1-16, 2019, 19 babies were born at Cariboo Memorial Hospital, the same number of babies born between July 1-16, 2018.


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