Home News & Events Member communication 23 August 2021

Member communication 23 August 2021

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Kia ora koutou members,

As we know from today’s announcement that we will be in Alert level 4 until at least this Friday or next Tuesday for Auckland. I appreciate that this can be a stressful time, and that with ongoing school and childcare facility closures, many midwives will be balancing family or childcare commitments with essential worker requirements. A number of midwives, particularly in Auckland are being required to self isolate as they have been identified as close contacts or at a location of interest. We are aware that some midwives have been receiving conflicting advice about self isolation requirements from differing sources. The College is here to support you with advice if you have any queries about your specific situation.

  1. PPE update: The Ministry of Health poster on PPE for maternity settings has been updated. There are now only two categories:i. Women who are probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases, or meet the Clinical and Higher Index of Suspicion (HIS) criteriaii. Women who are not probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases, and do not meet the Clinical and Higher Index of Suspicion (HIS) criteria.

    Midwives providing in-person care for women in category 1 are required to wear full PPE, including an N95 mask.

    In Category 1, the HIS criteria include women who are asymptomatic and are either a close contact (in self-isolation for 14 days from contact even if negative test results), or a casual plus contact, (in self-isolation until their day 5 Covid test comes back negative).

    Women category 1 who need an acute assessment or labour care will have this in hospital so N95 masks will be supplied by the DHB.

    Women category 1 who are 37 or more weeks’ pregnant will require routine antenatal midwifery assessment as per the College of Midwives’ suggested schedule of care for antenatal contacts in the Alert level 3 & 4 Advice for Community Midwives and Ministry of Health advice. If asymptomatic, these women are generally seen at home by the LMC midwife who wears full PPE including an N95 mask.

    The Ministry of Health has confirmed that community-based midwives who have women in this situation can obtain a small number of N95 masks from their DHB along with the rest of their PPE supplies.

  2. Vulnerable workers. The College is aware that the definition of ‘vulnerable worker’ in relation to pregnancy is currently under consideration by the DHBs. At this stage the revised definition is not yet finalised or available. We will inform members as soon as any updates are available. LMC midwives are encouraged to contact the locum service to discuss their individual situation if they have any concerns about their status as a vulnerable worker.
  3. NSU update As per the College’s update last week, the NSU can now process metabolic screening blood spot  from 24 hours post birth if this better fits schedule of visits (optimal time for sample taking is 48 – 72 hours). Please see the following link for the full advice regarding Antenatal and newborn screening during all Alert Levels here.
  4. Obstetric referral for women with confirmed Covid-19. The College has been working with RANZCOG to update referral expectations  for women with confirmed Covid-19. The updated document can be accessed here.
  5. Midwifery Council statement about midwives and vaccination. The Midwifery Council has published a statement today about midwives personal responsibility in relation to vaccination, both their own status and their responsibility to share evidence based information with clients. The full statement can be read here

Ngā mihi

Alison Eddy

Chief Executive

New Zealand College of Midwives|Te Kāreti o ngā Kaiwhakawhānau ki Aotearoa