Maternity West Integrated Maternity Service – Frequently Asked Questions

The Tasmanian Government is establishing a new integrated North West maternity service to provide better, safer care for mothers and babies, as part of the Government’s One Health System reforms to provide higher quality services and better outcomes.

From Tuesday 1 November 2016, a new single birthing and inpatient care service will be established at the North West Private Hospital. Birthing and inpatient admissions at the Mersey Community Hospital (MCH) will cease on the same day. Admitted patients on the ward will be able to stay until discharge.

This means from Tuesday 1 November 2016 at 09:00am there will be no further birthing or inpatient maternity service at the Mersey Community Hospital.

Antenatal and postnatal outpatient maternity services delivered at the Mersey Community Hospital remain unchanged.

General Questions

Who can I call if I have a question about my pregnancy?

If you normally have your clinic care at the Mersey Community Hospital you can call 1800 940 766 at any time of the day.  The phone will be answered by a registered midwife.

After November 1, if you normally have your clinic care in Burnie you can call 1800 940 747 at any time of the day.  The phone will be answered by a registered midwife.

What phone number do I call if I think I am in labour?

From 1 November 2016, if you think that you are in labour, you should call the labour ward at the North West Private Hospital on 64326030

Where should I go if I am about to have my baby?

In an emergency, call an ambulance on 000.

The Mersey Community Hospital will not have birthing facilities available after 1 November 2016.

You will need to go to either the North West  Private Hospital in Burnie or the Launceston General Hospital.

Where should I go if I need to urgently see a doctor with a pregnancy problem?

If you require urgent assistance and you are less than 20 weeks pregnant then please go to the North West Regional Hospital Emergency Department.

If you are more than 20 weeks gestation then please present to the North West Private Hospital after phoning 1800 940 747.

In an emergency, call an ambulance on 000.

What do I do if I am due to have a Caesarean Section early November?

The antenatal team will pre-plan your caesarean section with you and your doctor to identify a suitable date, time and location for your caesarean section.

If I live in near the Mersey Hospital, where will my antenatal clinic appointments now be held?

The antenatal clinics at the Mersey Hospital are unchanged and can be found on Level 2.

If I live in Burnie, where will my antenatal clinic appointments now be held?

The location of the antenatal clinic at the North West Regional Hospital is located in the corridor between the North West Regional Hospital and the North West Private Hospital (beside North West Pathology).  Refer to the map below:

antenatal-clinic

Is there specialist assistance available for mothers who have special care needs (such as hearing impaired or do not speak English)?

If you are coming to hospital as a patient or a family member and have a disability (hearing, sight, mobility or other physical limitation) or any other special requirements, we are keen to assist you. Please let us know about any special requirements.

A free interpreter service is available for any public patient from a non-English speaking background, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds or those with a hearing impairment. Please let staff know if you would like an interpreter or need assistance with sign language. The interpreter will treat your information with strict confidentiality.

Please tell us if you require an interpreter when you make your appointment. It is also important for you to tell us in advance if you need to cancel or re-book your appointment. Failure to notify or cancel your booking may incur a fee.

North West Private Hospital

Where is the North West Private Hospital?

The North West Private Hospital is located at 21 Brickport Road, Burnie, situated adjacent or next to the North West Regional Hospital.  Their main contact details are telephone (03) 6432 6000 or email northwestprivate@healthecare.com.au.

What are the visiting hours?

Visitors are asked to observe the unit and ward visiting hours below and be mindful of all patients when visiting the hospital. Every day:
2pm – 4.30pm
6pm – 7.30pm

Where can I park?

North West Private Hospital provides paid parking for all visitors, patients and staff. During busy times parking can be limited.  The car park is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

While the hospital grounds are monitored, the private hospital takes no responsibility for the security of your vehicle while parked at the hospital.  The private hospital recommends that you don’t leave valuables in your vehicle and remember to ensure your car is locked before you leave it.

Do I have to pay for parking if my partner is in labour?

No, a parking permit will be issued by a maternity ward midwife when you present in labour until your baby is born or for the day if you are booked for an elective Caesarean Section.

What public transport is available?

North West Private Hospital provides paid parking for all visitors, patients and staff.

A new Hospital Link bus service has been established to provide transport for patients, their families and members of the public between the Mersey Community Hospital and North West Regional Hospital. Connections to the Launceston General Hospital will be added later in the year.

The Hospital Link service runs from Latrobe to Burnie, stopping in some regional centres between the hospitals, and is open to all members of the public.

If you are a patient at the Mersey Community Hospital or North West Regional Hospital, or are visiting a patient in these hospitals, you are entitled to a free return trip on the service.

More information on the bus service can be found here

Where can my partner get a meal/food from while I am an inpatient?

Smilicious Kiosk is located in the Front Foyer of the North West Private Hospital, with various hot and cold food options as well as coffee and cold drinks.

Smilicious is open from 0700 -2.30pm weekdays.

Various cold drinks, coffee and snack machines are available to patients, staff and visitors at all times in the NWPH Foyer.

Adjoining the hospital in the North West Medical Centre is Hudson’s Café. The café caters for both sit down and take-away meals.

The cafe is open:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: closed
Public Holidays: closed

How do I arrange a tour of the private hospital maternity ward?

Contact the North West Private Hospital on 6432 6030and advise that you are booked in to have your birth with them and you would like to have a tour of the ward.

Will birthing classes still be available?

Classes will be run both through the Mersey Community Hospital and in Burnie.

These will be arranged through your antenatal appointments.

Will I need to pay for public birthing and inpatient care at the private hospital?

The North West Private Hospital is funded by the Tasmanian Government to provide public inpatient and birthing services for you.  Out of pocket expenses may occur for optional extras whilst in hospital  and it is your responsibility to pay for the optional extras costs you incur.

What do I do if I do not have Medicare card?

A Medicare card provides access to Medicare benefits for a range of medical services, lower cost prescriptions and free care as a public patient in a public hospital.

If you do not have a Medicare Card you will be treated as a Medicare Ineligible Patient and will need to pay costs incurred for all medical treatment.  This includes all ‘outpatient’ visits, as well as inpatient (admitted) care and accommodation.

As a Medicare Ineligible patient, it is your responsibility to ensure you have health insurance cover or adequate money to cover the cost of your health care.  This includes payment for all costs of  your  maternity care and the costs of your baby’s care if your baby needs treatment or a stay in hospital.

To register for Medicare services go to https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/medicare-services or talk to your health insurer directly to discuss your insurance entitlements and options.