Memorial Hospital is moving forward with plans to close its birthing unit, but must first meet a number of conditions imposed by the state Department of Health. One requirement involves notifying patients before the end of the week.
Patients who planned on delivering their babies at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket will be receiving a letter informing them of their options, and offering shuttle service to appointments at different hospitals, says Memorial president Michael Dacey.
“Certainly we would love for them to go to Women and Infants or Kent. If there are other places, other birthing hospitals they’re going to, we will certainly make certain that their medical records are transferred in a smooth way, and that whatever communication is required to make that transition as easy as possible is accomplished,” said Dacey.
What’s more, Memorial’s parent organization, Care New England, must absorb any additional cost of giving birth at another hospital.
Memorial’s birthing center will close down by August because of financial difficulties.
Additional conditions on the state health department's approval of the closure of Memorial's birthing center include developing a similar "culture of caring" at Women and Infants Hospital and helping staff find new jobs. You can read the list of conditions on page 27 of this document from the health department.