Maternity services update – 6 August

Progress on the recommendations arising from the Maternity Services review are well underway at Castlemaine Health.

Ms Sarah Watts has been appointed to the Clinical Lead – Midwifery role, which was created during the review process to oversee implementation of the review recommendations. Ms Watts ensure the service is operating in line with the appropriate quality and safety standards. Ms Fiona Faulks, a lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe Rural Health School, has been appointed Project Consultant to support planning, decision-making and project management. Dr Veronica Moule has been appointed Medical Lead – GP obstetrician.

CEO Ian Fisher said: “We’ve now filled three roles that are key to progressing the recommendations across those six key areas. We have an incredible group of talented and dedicated midwifes, fantastic local GP obstetricians and now very experienced maternity specialists now on board. This is a really exciting opportunity to set new standards in the provision of maternity care for a small rural maternity service.”

Membership of the Maternity Services Consumer Committee has also been finalised. The committee comprises volunteers from the community with an interest in maternity services. The committee will play a lead role in supporting community engagement and reports to the Maternity Services Governance Committee.

Ian Fisher said: “We were overwhelmed with the quality of applications for the Consumer Committee. We had some incredibly talented and experienced people put their hands up and I’m sorry that we weren’t able to take all of them on board. Thank you to everyone who applied. I can assure everyone that there will be further opportunities to be part of this work.”

There will be a detailed process of engagement with the community to develop the new model of care. Castlemaine Health will seek community feedback on their experiences of maternity care and create opportunities for people to take part in organisational planning around maternity services. The goal is to agree a safe model of care that maintains the elements of birthing valued by women and staff.

Ian Fisher said: “I’d like to thank the community for their patience, particularly those women who were due to give birth with us. While we are challenged on so many fronts at the moment due to COVID-19, we are working at pace to reopen our maternity services as soon as possible.”

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