Refurbished Birthing Unit opens at Rotorua Hospital


New features to the eight birthing suites

Mothers and newborn babies in the Lakes district will now enjoy completely refurbished facilities with the opening of the upgraded Birthing Unit at Rotorua Hospital.

Te Whatu Ora Group Director Operations for Lakes, Alan Wilson, says the investment brings the current birthing facilities in line with relevant standards.

“It improves the safety and experience of patients and creates spaces and facilities that are fit for purpose,” Alan Wilson says.

“The upgraded facility is not just an improvement for those needing healthcare, but those providing it as well; with improvements to staff areas and facility design to enable more effective care.”

“We are very excited to have such an attractive space with major clinical improvements for our birthing mothers, babies and their whānau. The Unit is also now a much improved area for staff to work in and we are very proud to open this Unit and make it available for our whānau and staff.”

The Birthing Unit’s eight suites now have new features to support birthing mothers including: new birthing pools in four rooms, blanket warmers, bluetooth speakers and birth support ropes.

The rooms have been upgraded with double glazed windows, fresh paint, interior design with a cultural theme, new flooring, bathroom fittings, new antimicrobial curtains and redesigned beverage bay to improve the experience of mothers and whānau while birthing.

The Unit now has a negative pressure room which will ensure the safe care of mothers and their babies who need to be in isolation.

A completely redesigned staff station, stores, dispensary and reception area will also improve facilities for staff. The Birthing Unit staff office has doubled in size and better storage areas will also improve clinical, communication and privacy requirements.

“I want to thank everyone who worked so hard in the planning and construction stages for all their hard work. I would also like to acknowledge the families who have birthed in our temporary Birthing Unit while this redevelopment has happened over some months. I particularly want to thank all the Birthing Unit staff, midwives and clinicians for working together for the benefit of mothers and their babies in the temporary unit.”

Clinical Midwife Director for Lakes, Corli Roodt, says staff have greatly appreciated whānau being understanding of the restrictions on the temporary unit.

“We look forward to providing the birthing service in the upgraded unit and being able to have women supported by a loved one during their entire stay.”

The Birthing Unit upgrade is part of a $6 million redevelopment to improve Rotorua Hospital’s Woman, Child and Family facilities at Rotorua Hospital.

The Children’s Unit, Perinatal Unit and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) are all set for improvements with some of the buildings almost 60 years old and some experiencing water tightness issues.

“These infrastructure projects are essential to ongoing improvement of patient safety and experience and to create spaces and facilities that are suited to their purpose. For whānau and their pēpē, the improvements are much needed and will create a safer space for antenatal, labour, birth and postnatal care,” Mr Wilson says.

As part of the upgrade, a former ward was completely refurbished to be used as a temporary unit while the Birthing Unit and other units within the Woman, Child and Family service are progressively renovated.

The Birthing Unit will be open for the first patients from 7 November.