Shock maternity closure at SJOG Mt Lawley

St John of God Health Care is consolidating maternity care across its Perth metropolitan private hospitals, which will see its Mt Lawley Hospital services transfer to SJOG Subiaco.

There will be no changes to maternity services at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.  

SJOG said it would have the two centres of excellence – north and south – which would be well-positioned to cater for Perth’s growing population and the future demand for private maternity services.  

SJOG Health Care CEO Bryan Pyne said the transfer would take place next month, on December 20, enabling the organisation to respond to workforce challenges and better align service capability with community needs.  

“Providing exceptional patient care remains our number one priority. This has been our focus and will continue to be our focus after the transfer,” Mr Pyne said.  

“Our community’s needs are changing, and we are seeing private maternity admissions dropping across our hospitals as the birth rate in Western Australia trends downwards.  

“It is also becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the highly skilled maternity workforce across three hospital sites, especially over holiday periods.” 

He said that despite the organisation’s best efforts to resolve these workforce issues over the past two years, it needed to transfer Mt Lawley maternity services before Christmas to ensure continuity of care and to maintain its high standard of care for its patients.  

“Consolidating private maternity services at two sites will enable us to continue to develop and enhance our services with our highly skilled workforce,” he said. 

“St John of God Subiaco Hospital has the capacity to provide these services and is well progressed with the planning to deliver a new eight-storey clinical facility that will include a world-class Mother and Baby Centre.”  

All Mt Lawley midwives, nurses and obstetricians are being consulted and supported through the transition, and there will be no job losses. All births planned for Mt Lawley can be accommodated at Subiaco hospital.  

SJOG Subiaco Hospital CEO Tina Chinery said parents-to-be transferring to Subiaco would be looked after and enjoy the birth experience they planned, with additional services such as a neonatal nursery should their newborn need any extra care. 

“The move provides St John of God Health Care with an opportunity to co-design a new service delivery model with both our clinicians and community, focusing not only on delivery but pre and post-natal care, including the fourth trimester,” she said.  

St John of God Health Care said it was liaising with affected patients to ensure a smooth transfer of service.