Community stands up to save Terang's maternity service

Speaking out: Gemma Dennis with daughter Evelyn (right), and her mothers' group, which is defending maternity services at Terang Hospital. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Speaking out: Gemma Dennis with daughter Evelyn (right), and her mothers' group, which is defending maternity services at Terang Hospital. Picture: Rob Gunstone

The Terang community is fighting to save its hospital’s maternity services from being reduced or axed because of a small number of births.

A group of first-time mothers, who were cared for at the hospital, are rallying behind Terang and Mortlake Health Service after it was revealed on Friday the state government was likely to downgrade the maternity services.

“Everyone is devastated that it could possibly happen,” the group’s organiser Gemma Dennis said.

Seven mothers, including Melissa Irving, spoke about the high level of one-on-one care they received and personal relationships they developed with staff at the small hospital.

“I was there for a week and they weren’t trying to kick me out,” Mrs Irving said. “They were there every day trying to make sure that everything was OK.

“As a first-time mum, it’s daunting having this little baby let alone trying to feed properly and be emotional, so to be able to be there for a whole week before you go home is a massive plus.”

Mrs Dennis said the group’s next step would be to create a petition to harness community support and lobby the government.

TMHS chairman Barry Philp was heartened by the community’s support.

“We’re very pleased to see the community getting behind us, because for a long time we have delivered a good, strong and safe service,” Mr Philp said.

“It’s very nice that they have come out and supported us without any prompting at all.

Hospital’s special baby bond with one Terang family

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