Today York Hospital confirmed it is closing the hospital’s inpatient birthing unit on September 25 due to the ongoing, nationwide shortage of health care workers. The hospital is working closely with colleagues from Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, part of the Mass General Brigham system, to ensure that all York Hospital expectant mothers continue to have access to the care they need as they prepare for delivery.
All York Hospital patients will continue to receive pre- and post-natal care on the York Hospital campus, with labor and delivery care provided at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover. Expectant mothers will of course have the option of delivering at any hospital of their choosing.
“We’re keenly aware of the impact that this difficult decision will have on our patients and our community. Multiple steps were taken to keep the department open, but unfortunately, worker shortages have left us unable to provide the level of consistent, high-quality care our patients deserve,” President & CEO, Dr. Patrick Taylor said. “I’m grateful to the team at Wentworth-Douglass for their assistance in ensuring the safety and uninterrupted care of our patients, and I’m confident they will continue to provide a higher level of care for both our mothers and babies.”
The decision was not forced by financial considerations, but unfortunately, the continued decline of birth rates at the birthing center, along with the health care worker shortage, created an environment in which York Hospital’s birthing center was no longer viable. A 2023 study published by the health care consulting firm, Chartis, found that across the country, at least 217 hospitals have closed their labor and delivery departments since 2011, 19 within the last year.
The decision is limited in scope to only labor and delivery services. York Hospital will continue to provide the same gynecological care on its main campus, as well as pediatric services on its York and Wells campuses. No other departments or services are being considered for closure.
York Hospital invites all current obstetric patients to contact OB/GYN, Surgical & Midwifery Associates of York Hospital with any questions or concerns at (207) 351-3455.
York Hospital, located in York, Maine, is an independent, non-profit hospital that has been a staple in the community since 1906. Over 275 physicians on the medical staff serve the main hospital campus in York, along with seven community sites throughout Southern Maine. York Hospital is known for providing compassionate clinical excellence within its comfortable facilities. For more information about services, practices, and providers, visit www.yorkhospital.com or contact Community Relations at (207) 351-2385 or [email protected].
# # #