WONTHAGGI Hospital has introduced low pressure rooms to ensure airflow is managed safely during births for COVID positive women in the maternity ward without spreading the virus.

Bass Coast Health Maternity Unit manager Melanie Shields, GP obstetrician Dr Megan Scott and midwife Pauline Humbert. Supplied.

Bass Coast Health is taking a collaborative approach to focus on the safety and quality of maternal services as part of the South Coast Gippsland Partnership, which also includes Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS), South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) and Koo Wee Rup Hospital.

A partner or support person is allowed to attend the labour, birth and after birth for as long as required at Foster, Leongatha and Wonthaggi Hospitals where the maternal services are provided.

However, a partner or support person can only subsequently visit once per day for a maximum of two hours.

Only the partner or support person of a pregnant patient is permitted to visit, and visitors must stay in the patient’s room, with only quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food allowed.

Maternity Staff at Gippsland Southern Health Service. Supplied.

It is also recommended that visitors should limit the number of personal items brought into the hospital to prevent bringing germs into the hospital.

In a combined media statement by CEOs Jan Child (BCH), Mark Johnson (GSHS) and Paul Greenhalgh (SGH), they said: “We are all well prepared and have processes in place to manage births safely. We are all strongly committed to following the directives of the Chief Health Officer and we continue to keep ourselves apprised of all new guidelines and policies to keep our community safe.

“The health of our community, patients, visitors and staff is our biggest priority during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have put in place measures to keep our community safe while supporting the provision of the highest level of care.”