THE Border’s new parents and babies unit in Wodonga is expected to open this month but staff at the existing Albury centre are not guaranteed a job.
The unit, which has been based at Mercy Health’s Poole Street campus in Albury for 30 years, was supposed to reopen in Vermont Street, Wodonga, yesterday but delays with paperwork have put that off until later this month.
The Mercy’s unit had four full-time staff but the new unit will only have three. Those positions will be open to all-comers.
Albury Wodonga Health nursing and midwifery deputy director Julie Wright, whose organisation will take over the administration of the centre from Mercy, said it would hire staff who best fitted the needs of the service.
Ms Wright said that was not a criticism to Mercy Health Parents and Babies Unit staff and she encouraged staff to apply for a position within Albury Wodonga Health.
A Mercy Health spokeswoman said staff affected by the transfer would be offered employment elsewhere within the organisation.
She said the service was committed to retaining skilled and valued staff and those employees affected would be supported and have access to Mercy Health’s employee assistance program.
Ms Wright said Albury Wodonga Health could use the parents and babies service to streamline what it already did.
“Mercy are mainly focused on aged care and they do it well so us taking over this unit will allow them to keep focusing on that,” she said.
Ms Wright said there had been significant issues surrounding the maintenance cost of Mercy Health’s unit building.
“You don’t want to spend money where it could be better utilised,” she said.
“They have given us the opportunity to enhance and grow the service and that is something we are keen on doing.
“We see it as exciting opportunity that it will be really beneficial for parents and babies in community and we are sure we can continue the good work of Mercy.”
Ms Wright said Albury Wodonga Health would be adding to the services it provides and would also focus on catering to new fathers.