Maternity services update – 19 June

The draft report on Castlemaine Health’s maternity services has been delivered today to CEO Ian Fisher.

The draft contains the findings and recommendations of a review conducted by Dr Rupert Sherwood and Ms Lisa Smith over the past five weeks.

Dr Sherwood will provide a briefing for the Board next Monday, 22 June. Meetings have also been arranged with GP obstetricians and midwives on Tuesday to brief them on the recommendations. The report should be finalised by the end of next week. The review will be concluded when the final report is adopted by the Board.

CEO Ian Fisher said: “We expect to make a preliminary statement about the draft report next week followed by a further statement on the findings and recommendations when the final report is adopted by the Board.”

Reinstatement of the maternity service is targeted for 1 July but remains subject to the review’s findings and recommendations. A Clinical Maternity Lead position has been created to oversee implementation of the recommendations and ensure the service is operating in line with the appropriate quality and safety standards.

Ian Fisher said “I understand the immense importance of birthing decisions to our community and am deeply sorry for the inconvenience to those women who had been due to give birth here while the review has been taking place. We are doing our utmost to reopen the service as soon as possible, but need the reassurance of the review to ensure we have the appropriate systems and safeguards in place. I’d like to thank the community for their patience and support.”

The review benchmarked Castlemaine Health against the procedures, policies, clinical practice protocols and maternity clinical governance systems that determine the capacity, capability and safety of a maternity service.

Castlemaine Health paused maternity services while the review took place, with the support of the Department of Health and Human Services and Safer Care Victoria.

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