Valley West Hospital suspends newborn services and inpatient obstetrics

SANDWICH – Staffing issues have forced Northwestern Medicine to temporarily suspended inpatient obstetrics and newborn services at Valley West Hospital in Sandwich, a Northwestern Medicine official said.

“Like many hospitals, Valley West Hospital has experienced challenges with both nursing and physician staffing,” said Christopher King, the chief media relations executive for Northwestern Medicine.

Inpatient obstetrics and newborn services were suspended Sept. 1 because, according to King, Northwestern Medicine found it was unable to maintain its high standards with its current level of staffing. Expecting parents will have to go to a different hospital for the delivery of their child.

“We have notified all of the obstetricians who deliver at Valley West Hospital and they will work with patients who are currently pregnant to identify the appropriate hospital for delivery,” King said.

The staffing challenge for obstetrics and newborn services at Valley West Hospital is something Northwestern Medicine has been monitoring for some time, King said.

He said Northwestern Medicine believes the suspension of those services is the correct decision for both patients and staff; however, he does not yet know when Valley West Hospital will resume obstetrics and newborn services.

“At this time, we are working to evaluate our long term ability to provide these services at Valley West. Once we know, we’ll provide an update accordingly,” King said.

The changes at Valley West Hospital will not affect clinical offerings at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb, and Northwestern Medicine is working with existing staff impacted by the suspension.

“We are working with staff to identify appropriate opportunities either in a different Valley West department or elsewhere within our health system,” King said.

Despite the suspension of obstetric and newborn services at Valley West Hospital, individuals experiencing a medical emergency while pregnant may still be brought to Valley West Hospital by an ambulance if that’s the nearest emergency department.

“Our emergency department staff is trained and prepared to handle medical emergencies for people who are pregnant,” King said.

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