Home News & Events Member communication 18 August 2021

Member communication 18 August 2021

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Kia ora koutou members,

Thank you to all members who are working to ensure that our maternity service continues to provide essential care for women and whānau during the Level 4 restrictions. This email is to update you on some Covid related issues.

     1. Covid related advice

Midwives who need Covid advice for themselves or a client may contact the Covid-19 Clinician Advice Line included in your email.

The  College is open for business as usual with staff working from home. College advisors are available to take calls from members on any Covid related or other matters. Please contact us through the main College landline (03) 377 2732.  There is also a dedicated covid-19@nzcom.org.nz email address which is checked regularly (including over the weekend). A range of Covid related advice is available on the College website. https://www.midwife.org.nz  This advice is being progressively updated to reflect any changes relevant to the Delta variant and / or changes in practice related to new evidence.

     2. Use of masks / PPE

The Prime Minister has announced that the use of face masks is mandatory from 23:50 tonight for everyone over 12 years old for any access to essential services and for all essential workers at all times. This includes all midwives and anyone accessing midwifery care. The current Ministry of Health advice on PPE use will be updated to reflect this. Please check the Ministry and College websites regularly for any updates. DHBs are required to ensure supply of PPE to all midwives (including LMCs). Please contact your local regional College chair or DHB for further advice or information if you have any concerns about PPE supply or access.

     3. Vulnerable workers / locum cover  

The College understands that DHBs are reviewing the current definition of vulnerable workers, which includes pregnant women 28+ weeks gestation. Employed midwives should receive communication from their employer regarding this. Locum cover is available for LMC midwives who need it for Covid related reasons or vulnerable worker status, please see Further information here.  Please contact the locum service if you have any queries about this.

     4. Section 88 claiming

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that it will continue to honour Section 88 claims for LMC midwives who are unable to provide the requisite number of visits, or labour and birth care, to a woman where she has been transferred to DHB care because she is COVID-19 confirmed. If you have a query about claiming a module where you have been prevented from providing the requisite care outlined in the Section 88 Notice  because of the country’s COVID-19 Alert Level status or because your client has COVID-19, please email primarymaternity@health.govt.nz  Further information is available on the Ministry of Health website (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

     5. Well Child handover

Whānau Āwhina Plunket has confirmed that they are available to receive handovers from midwives for ongoing care and are available. The MOH advice to WCTO providers is for early non face to face contact (phone and telehealth) with all whānau with new babies and that face to face visits are to be delayed during Alert level 4 until further advice is given.

To organise handover, please liaise with your local Well Child Tamariki Ora provider to ensure that the necessary information is passed on at handover, to enable ongoing care for whānau.

The MOH advises that if whānau are worried, they should access PlunketLine, HealthLine, a medical clinical or the local ED.

     6. Antenatal and New born Screening programmes

The College and the National screening Unit (NSU) have revisited practice guidance during the current pandemic lockdown. No new recommendations will be added and practice continues as per previous Covid lockdown guidance. The current matrix guidance on the College website is available https://www.midwife.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/COVID-19-AN-service-delivery-across-all-levels-for-NZCOM-v3.pdf

NSU are aware of the challenges for women accessing radiology services for AN screening during lockdowns. If you have any questions or concerns can you please email Elaine Gray, Midwifery Advisor at education@nzcom.org.nz who will then liaise with the NSU.