IN response to a gap in pediatrician availability due to an unexpected leave at Peace Arch Hospital, beginning January 28, Fraser Health is asking expectant individuals who have pre-existing plans to deliver at Peace Arch Hospital to attend Langley Memorial Hospital for their deliveries.
The diversion will remain in place until Fraser Health successfully recruits a full complement of pediatricians to support maternity patients at Peace Arch Hospital.
Fraser Health says it implemented this extended diversion to ensure it is able to provide the best and safest care for its patients at any time using its extensive network of hospitals and health care services. The diversion does not impact other health care services at Peace Arch Hospital.
While some people will be disappointed by this temporary change as they would like to have their baby born at Peace Arch Hospital for a variety of reasons, Fraser Health says it is ensuring that all care providers, such as midwives and doulas, who are part of a patient’s care team continue to be part of their delivery team at Langley Memorial Hospital.
During the diversion period, impacted patients will be notified directly by their physicians or midwives to discuss their birth plan and ensure their needs are met. If they have any questions, patients should contact their family physician and/or their midwife.
If they require urgent care, expecting individuals should proceed to the Emergency Department nearest to them. If the person believes they are having complications, they should call 9-1-1.
“For several years now, the local pediatrician group at Peace Arch Hospital has been working closely with Fraser Health to recruit pediatricians to our hospital. The provision of this new contract is an important step toward filling the positions to ensure Maternity services remain available to the South Surrey-White Rock community at Peace Arch Hospital,” says Dr. Laura Lewington, co-local department head for the Pediatrics Department at Peace Arch Hospital.
Fraser Health says that recruiting pediatricians to work in smaller hospitals, particularly those such as Peace Arch Hospital that do not have pediatric units, can be a challenge since some pediatricians prefer to work in larger acute settings. However, Fraser Health says it continues to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, its physician group, program leadership and staff to find long-term solutions to minimize future impact at Peace Arch Hospital, and ensure pediatric services remain consistently available to the South Surrey-White Rock community.
Over the past year, Fraser Health says that it recruited five pediatricians to work at its hospitals across the region, helping to ensure adequate resources are in place for all the communities it serves.
While temporary diversions is part of its regular operating procedure, Fraser Health says it works diligently to avoid implementing diversions in its hospitals whenever possible, including collaborating closely with its physician groups to secure physician availability and minimize gaps. When it is unable to fill gaps in physician availability or other non-medical staff, it reluctantly implements temporary diversions to ensure the safety of its patients.
For information on pregnancy and Fraser Health’s maternity hospitals, visit www.fraserhealth.ca/pregnancy.