September 21, 2022
WESTLOCK — Alberta Health Services (AHS) is temporarily pausing obstetrical services at the Westlock Healthcare Centre until October 31, 2022.
The decision is centered on patient safety and is due to a lack of trained registered nurse availability.
“The decision to pause obstetric services is not made lightly,” says Stacy Greening, Chief Zone Officer with AHS North Zone. “We believe in the importance of nearby health care in rural communities and are working to return to regular service as soon as possible. However, we must have the trained staff who are integral to quality care and patient safety.”
Obstetrics is a high-risk practice that requires a team of experts with specialized skills.
“This decision is related to patient safety and patient experience, not financial issues,” Greening says. “No job losses will occur at the site as a result, and it does not impact any other services offered at the hospital.”
Local physicians will continue to provide care to current and future obstetrical patients until the late stages of pregnancy, before transitioning their care to another physician who will support their delivery. Patients will be able to receive postnatal care for themselves and their infant with their family physician in Westlock.
All pregnant patients are being contacted directly through their family physician to ensure they have the support they need, including having a plan in place for where they will safely deliver their babies.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.