A partnership between Ceduna Hospital and North Eastern Community Hospital in Adelaide is set to deliver for West Coast babies.

For the next two weeks, Registered Midwife Jennifer Pacifico, who ordinarily works full time at North Eastern in metropolitan Adelaide, will be assisting with the maternity service at Ceduna.

That’s because from time to time hospital staff from Adelaide or other parts of South Australia are seconded to regional hospitals to cover periods when other staff might have transferred away or been on leave.

Ms Pacifico, who has worked as a midwife at North Eastern for 13 years and teaches practical skills in Midwifery at UNISA, has already noticed some strong similarities between her home hospital and Ceduna.

“The health service in Ceduna is an integral part of the community,” she said.

“Mostly the staff working within the service live in Ceduna, so familiar faces and connectivity to the community is really noticeable. The staff know each other by name and it’s really nice to see them treat each other so warmly.

“The nurses, the midwives, the cleaners, the kitchen staff, reception staff and all the other areas that help to make the hospital function are mostly local.”

Jennifer Pacifico (right) at work in Ceduna

Jennifer is also loving the opportunity to connect with both expectant and new mums in the region and some of the great things the West Coast has to offer.

“I have felt nothing but warmth from the mums in my time here so far, (and) the vista is so pretty… a gorgeous landscape, spectacular sunsets and an amazing coastline.

“And the oysters are so delicious! Where else in the world can you eat freshly shucked oysters in your lunch break?

“Working in a rural setting isn’t something I’ve done before, but I’m finding it very rewarding and I’m loving working with the team at Ceduna Hospital.”

Ceduna District Health Services Executive Officer and Director of Nursing Andrew Lane said the partnership was a valuable one.

“The North Eastern Community Hospital has kindly supported the Ceduna District Health Service, by offering the services of a highly trained midwife,” he said. 

“The partnership between public and private health services can assist us in meeting workforce shortages in remote sites, and I hope this partnership can continue in the future.”

North Eastern Community Hospital CEO Michele Smith agrees that collaboration is essential to ensure high standards of service delivery across the state.

“Collaborating with regional communities and the public health system is a really natural fit for us,” she said.

“We are a community hospital, so our staff work well in regional environments, and indeed country mums who have to travel to Adelaide because their birth is high risk find they feel comfortable at North Eastern.

“Being a community-owned private hospital also means our profits go back into the hospital, not to shareholders, so we have that in common with the values and ethos of the public health system as well.”

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