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Review of maternity services

An ongoing maternity review and improvement process for Central Queensland is aiming to share the lessons from the external maternity review in Rockhampton last year.
An ongoing maternity review and improvement process for Central Queensland is aiming to share the lessons from the external maternity review in Rockhampton last year. Vivid Pixels

AN ONGOING maternity review and improvement process for Central Queensland is aiming to share the lessons from the external maternity review in Rockhampton last year.

Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Rockhampton Hospital Sue Foyle is currently undertaking the project to review the maternity services across Central Queensland in a bid to ensure that the lessons learned from the Rockhampton review are shared across the district.

Ms Foyle said the review, which was instigated in February, resulted in recommendations being made which were discussed at staff and community forums in Emerald this week.

Ms Foyle said Emerald Hospital had "fantastic leadership” and had already been working since the start of the year on implementing new strategies, governance and policies for safe clinical practice.

"We want to provide a truly great maternity service. Emerald already provides a good service, and now we want to move from good to great,” she said.

"At the forum we talked about the main themes of the review which included culture, risk management and teamwork.”

"Emerald has already done a lot, and there is more work in progress.

"The safety of women and their babies is of paramount importance, and our desire is for every woman to receive a safe service which enables them to be confident parents going forward.”

She said it was important to provide maternity care close to home where possible.

Other recommendations discussed at the forum also included more training for midwives and doctors, closer ties between Emerald and Rockhampton hospitals and better planning for high-risk cases, ongoing communication with the public, developing standardised pathways of care, developing a multidisciplinary model of care to increase the continuity of care provided, and developing a clear pathway for risk assessment and management of vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) to better inform women and staff.

Ms Foyle said Emerald Hospital had a high vaginal birth rate compared to the rest of Queensland, which was a positive reflection on the level of the hospital's maternity care.

"We aim to have robust systems in place to offer as safe a service as possible. I have found that Emerald Maternity Unit already provides a wonderful service to women of the Central Highlands, and I aim to support them to continue to grow and improve even more.”

"I think for women, birthing is about how you make them feel. Birthing belongs to women, and they want to feel that they have been given choices, and that once they have made a choice, it is respected and supported.

"Birth is an experience - emotionally, physically, spiritually - it's not just medical. A mother might not remember who looked after them, but they will remember how you made them feel.”

She said she wanted women to feel empowered by their birthing experience.


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