Rose Brown, from Milton Ulladulla Nursing Agency, and her nursing staff have been attending my husband Keith twice daily for over five years.
I wish to express our gratitude for the professional and loving service that we have received during this time. Keith is now in Sarah Claydon.
People are unaware of the dedication of the nursing staff – on the roads in all kinds of weather and always arriving cheerful and prepared to help in every way.
My heartfelt gratitude, and I consider you all my friends.
The first of several downgrades at Milton Ulladulla hospital will be complete if the community accepts that it is now living in a district with second rate infrastructure.
For years we have been on the end of a large health organisation that manages its own interests and not those of the community.
You would not move to live in this town if there were not schools, roads, shops and other services. Yet this town despite having a growing population is having its hospital services downgraded.
The removal of maternity services is the visible tip of a mountain of change that will occur if it is left unchecked.
From being concerned about births the area has now totally abandoned all emergency care of pregnant women.
They are directed to call Shoalhaven hospital or an ambulance.
On the weekend a patient called Milton Hospital to discuss bleeding. She may have been miscarrying.
She was told to telephone Nowra. She was offered no counselling or other advice.
The midwife at Nowra told her to see the GP on Monday. This woman required an injection of a blood product to prevent Rhesus disease.
By the time she saw me on Monday she was over 24 hours past the time it is considered best to administer this.
Fortunately an ultrasound showed her baby was okay.
However she spent the weekend without any quality information or support. If this is the new and better system that the ILSHD is providing on the back of working towards better age care then it sucks.
Every day we see similar examples of poor antenatal care. We have gone from a well-coordinated team based approach to an un-coordinated area based mess.
This approach will inevitably start to reflect in other disciplines. At the moment our local hospital has no heart. If we have no maternity unit then we can never have an adverse event.
Instead we will have adverse events on the road in private cars or ambulances. That approach to risk management effectively removes responsibility from our hospital.
It is important to realise that myself and the other doctors withdrew from maternity practice because of a litany of broken promises.
The CEO Margot Mains promised solutions. The only feedback we are getting is that we did not give enough. So having given up antenatal care, routine operative delivery and almost all the normal births in this district we could give no more.
There is still time to rescue this beautiful little hospital. There is however little trust in the current managers and guardians of the system.
Our local Member of Parliament (who had her babies in Milton) needs to find a voice and a way forward. Surely the concerns coming through from community at the Federal election last week must resonate with her.
Without a solution our town is a backwater. Ultimately this will reflect in poorer land values and less businesses wanting to work here.
Why would you when there is no infrastructure?
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