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New provider to increase access to maternity information services for all women

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MidCentral District Health Board is about to widen access to its Pregnancy and Parenting Education and Maternity Information and Advisory services by appointing a new provider – Barnardos New Zealand.

​Barb Bradnock, the Portfolio Manager of Children, Youth & Intersectoral Partnerships said: “MDHB plans to end its existing service agreements on 1 July 2016 and replace them with the new provider Barnardos’ service, which offers the opportunity for a district-wide collaborative approach to the management of pregnancy and parenting education services. This will improve access to antenatal classes and information services by providing innovative opportunities to access the parenting information services.” 

At the moment there are eight providers available in the MDHB district that provide different parts of the programme. A review of services in 2013/14 found that some were fragmented or doubling up in some areas; of particular concern was the very low use of Pregnancy and Parenting Education among women who most needed the services, such as Maori, Pacific, young, and rural women.

The aim, which was publicly identified in the 2015-16 MidCentral DHB Annual Plan, is to have an approach that uses one provider of services, which is accessible and standardised for all women in the district.

Existing providers were advised in September 2015 of the pending change in arrangements and a transparent Request for Proposal process was entered into. 

Barnardos had the successful proposal, and their service aligns well with new national Ministry of Health Maternity Services’ Pregnancy and Parenting Information Service Specifications and direction.

Barnardos has an established history of meeting the needs of women and families most needing their services. Over coming months they will be working with the DHB, lead maternity carers, and communities to ensure the new service meets their needs in readiness for a 1 July 2016 start.

The proposed new service will be free for all parents, but will particularly focus on meeting the needs of first time parents and vulnerable women with high needs, including parents who are teenagers, Maori, or Pacific, as well as parents with limited comprehension of the English language.

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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