VOLUNTEERS who work at Orange hospital are required to be vaccinated and so are accompanying family members.
An Orange woman who attempted to circumvent the Orange Health Service ban will no longer be permitted to bring her child into the maternity ward.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) volunteer allegedly contacted an anti-vaccination site, via Facebook, asking for advice on how to bring her toddler to the maternity ward without having the child vaccinated.
The responders told her to lie about the vaccination status of her child. The Orange Health Service says volunteers must produce proof family members are vaccinated.
The ABA defended its position on allowing women who were not vaccinated to deal with newborn babies.
ABA spokeswoman Meredith Laverty said she had been a breastfeeding counsellor for five years and a hospital volunteer for nine and had never had to touch a newborn baby while they were in hospital.
She said she did not see a situation where any other volunteer would touch a newborn.
She stopped short of saying all volunteers would soon be required to be vaccinated, saying the association was seeking legal advice on the issue.
Ms Laverty said ABA volunteers, excluding the woman in question, would continue to hand out information packages to mothers in hospital.
She said the policy was new and that members were working with the hospital to ensure everyone complied. However, the policy came about in 2011.
“We expect that all of our volunteers comply with hospitals’ protocols,” she said.
Western NSW Local Health District risk manager Judy Robinson said in a statement all Orange Health Service volunteers were required to provide information pertaining to their vaccination status under the NSW Health 2011 Policy Directive - Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination against Specified Infectious Diseases, as part of the volunteer application process.
“It is a breach of NSW Health policy for Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) counsellors and any accompanying children to visit Orange Health Service Maternity Ward as part of their ABA counselling duties if they are not immunised, and therefore they are not permitted to do so,” she said.