Update: Interior Health says it is confident it has taken the necessary steps to ensure that it has the number of staff required to provide maternity services at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
Full maternity services are set to resume at the hospital in Williams Lake on Canada Day.
“What I can tell you is we have hired two new maternity nurses through the month of April. We were successful with one additional nurse who began in June and we have five more that are now fully trained and will be on site providing services for the July 1st restoration of services,” said Karen Bloemink, Vice President of Clinical Operations for IH North.
“This takes us to the baseline that we require to operate a full maternity service at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.”
“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.
Maternity services were suspended at Cariboo Memorial Hospital at the end of February due to a critical shortage of maternity nurses. Low-risk delivery services resumed on April 30.
42 expectant mothers delivered their babies at Kamloops Royal Inland Hosptial during the time of the closure.
“Like all jurisdictions in British Columbia there is always a slight risk with any specialized group of healthcare providers,” Bloemink said.
“But that we have in terms of recruitment and the ease of recruitment and ensuring that we have flexibility around the service, we feel that we have taken the steps necessary to make sure that this service is reliable going forward.”
Original Story: Full maternity services will resume as of Monday at Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Williams Lake.
Interior Health (IH) made the announcement Thursday.
“Interior Health is pleased to advise Cariboo families that full in-patient maternity services will resume at CMH as of July 1,” IH said in a news release noting that a cohort of experienced nurses, plus newly trained maternity nurses, will be available to cover shifts.
“Sufficient numbers of fully trained maternity nurses are now in place at CMH, allowing the hospital to return to its previous level of service delivery.”
Mothers who go into labour prior to 35 weeks gestation may still be transferred to a higher level of care facility.
Maternity services were suspended at the end of February due to a critical shortage of maternity nurses. Low-risk delivery services resumed on April 30.
“We would like to thank CMH staff and physicians for their flexibility and dedication during this challenging time and to our maternity nurses for their support of CMH patients in the months ahead,” IH said.