NSW-first: Westmead welcomes private midwives

Privately practicing midwives
Welcome to our visiting private practising midwives Jo Hunter. Robyn Dempsey, Jane Palmer, Hannah Dahlen, Janine O’Brien, Geesien McGuire and Emma Fitzpatrick.

In a major achievement and milestone for Westmead Hospital, seven new private midwives have gained admitting rights to the facility.

These rights allow women to have the option to continue to receive care with their private midwife, if they require hospital admission.

In the past, patients who engaged private midwives weren’t able to experience continuity of care if they wanted to give birth in a hospital or required hospital intervention.

Midwifery Unit Manager Carolyn Hilsabeck said the hospital is the first in NSW to introduce the initiative.

“We have welcomed seven private midwives to Westmead Hospital,” she said.

“The ladies are private midwives and approved by Medicare.

“They’re not employed by Western Sydney Local Health District but our patients now have the option to continue their care with a private midwife within our hospital.

“Private midwives have traditionally supported women who choose to birth at home or wish to avoid the hospital setting which can be very intimidating. Until now they have been required to hand over care of the woman if she requires hospital care or support”.

“Women under the care of a private midwife who have a more complex pregnancy can now birth at Westmead Hospital with the continuing care of the private Midwife who they know and trust.

“Allowing our patients to have continuity of care in the event they need hospital support is a fantastic step forward and victory for us.”

Jane Palmer has been a private midwife for more than 20 years and has been very keen for the partnership to be established.

“I’ve been working with Westmead for five years to help them develop visiting access for private midwives,” said Ms. Palmer.

“Continuity of care is the gold standard for all women, and now they’ve got the choice of hiring a private midwife and receiving care in Westmead Hospital. This so so exciting for women in the community.”