STAWELL - Stawell Regional Health (SRH) is seeking two experienced midwives to provide a full range of maternity services for the Stawell community.
Deputy Director of Clinical Services Wendy James said the two current midwives had resigned due to personal reasons and would be returning to New Zealand.
She said Stawell Regional Health had suspended its birthing service until new midwives had been recruited.
"Despite the resignation of Tom Bown and Colleen Chu, nursing staff at Stawell Hospital can assess and provide assistance to women who are concerned about any emergency pregnancy issues out-of-hours," Ms James said.
"Likewise, they can arrange transportation and appropriate care for women in labour who arrive at, or contact the Urgent Care Centre."
Ms James said Tom and Colleen had provided a full range of maternity services to the Stawell community during the past 12 months and had safely delivered three babies.
She formally thanked them for their contribution to the local community.
"These experienced midwives have provided a high level of service during the past 12 months under our new maternity model of care and endeavoured to offer women a safe choice in maternity care close to home," she said.
Ms James said the midwives' departure has been timed to coincide with the last woman that is booked into the service to minimise the impact as much as possible.
Mrs James said the innovative maternity model of care in place over the past 12 months - which meant that maternity care was primarily driven by midwives - had been successful and well received by the families who accessed it.
She said local families with questions about their maternity care should talk to their GP and members of the public concerned with the changes to maternity services should email her at Wendy.James@srh.org.au or call (03) 5358 8500.
The role of Stawell Hospital's Urgent Care Centre is to assess and stabilise patients requiring urgent care and making the appropriate transport arrangements for specialised care if required.