River Ridge East Birth Centre opened Christmas 2002, in its new premises on Von Tempsky Street, Hamilton East. The original concept for a primary birthing centre was devised back in 1992, following National-led government health reforms – it took three years, but in 1995, the contract was approved and signed.
An unused wing of the Southern Cross Hospital in Hamilton East was renovated and adapted, with midwives involved in all aspects of planning, setting up the facility, organising staffing and administration systems and operation of the facility. River Ridge Birth Centre operated in these premises for five years, establishing an excellent reputation and high demand for this community service.
Following termination of the lease by Southern Cross Hospital, the search was on for suitable locations for a new facility and a site was found for River Ridge East Birth Centre in its current location.
There has been steady growth in the demand for primary birthing in Hamilton. In 2015, River Ridge East Birth Centre provided for over 1800 postnatal stays and approximately 550 primary births.
The regulatory requirements for a birth centre are equally strict as for a public hospital. Health and Disability Sector Standards are met and are regularly audited. Infection Control, Health and Safety, and practice guidelines from the District Health Board are monitored for compliance