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Women's Health Service

The Women’s Health Service (WHS) provide maternity care to women of the Wellington region, women from smaller Centre’s requiring tertiary level obstetric care, or the services of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Midwives employed by the DHB provide care to women across the full midwifery scope of practice. They care for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, and those requiring complex medical and/or obstetric interventions. Employed midwives also provide support to the Lead Maternity Carer’s accessing the facilities.

Midwifery graduate programme

The Graduate Midwifery Programme is a 54 week programme that will enable the graduate midwife to consolidate her midwifery knowledge and practical skills within a supportive environment.

All midwives who have successfully completed a Bachelor in Midwifery, have a New Zealand Midwifery Council Registration (APC) and are seeking employment as a new midwifery practitioner during their first year of practice are welcome to apply for a position on the Graduate Midwifery Programme.

Each year the Women’s Health Service offer fixed term positions to 6 graduate midwives. Each midwife will work four eight hour shifts per week. These shifts are rostered and rotating.

The Graduate Midwifery Programme begins with a two week generic orientation to Wellington Regional Hospital and the area of maternity. Throughout the programme each graduate midwife will rotate through various areas within the maternity service including:

  • Community Midwifery Team – one week supernumerary placement
  • Women’s Clinics – one week supernumerary placement in the Acute Assessment Unit, Diabetic Clinic and Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Kenepuru primary birthing facility – two weeks working alongside core midwife
  • Antenatal – one week supernumerary followed by eight weeks clinical placement
  • Postnatal – one week supernumerary followed by 16 weeks clinical placement
  • Delivery Suite – four weeks supernumerary followed by 20 weeks clinical placement

A midwife educator will facilitate the programme. She is responsible for organising and supporting the Graduate Midwifery Programme. Each clinical area has experienced midwives who will be assigned to support the graduate midwife during her initial orientation period, during each rotation and continue to support the midwife in her day to day practice.

The Graduate Midwife will:

  • Participate in prescribed study days
  • Gain confidence in clinical decision making and the management of complex situations.
  • Develop sound clinical judgement and communication skills
  • Become an autonomous practitioner within the multidisciplinary team.

At the completion of the Graduate Midwifery Programme the graduate midwife will complete an annual performance appraisal. By the end of the programme the graduate midwife will be able to move to the Confident domain of the Quality and Leadership Programme. Those midwives who wish to gain permanent employment within the Womens Health Service will be eligible to apply for vacant positions.

Midwifery First Year of Practice (MFYP)

Each graduate midwife offered a position on the Graduate Midwifery Programme will be supported to participate in the Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme (MYFP). The Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme is a compulsory, national programme for all New Zealand registered midwifery graduates, irrespective of workplace setting. Further information of the Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme can be found at


Last updated 10 March 2017.