Division of Women, Youth and Children

Maternity Services model of care review

Over 2012-13, the growth in demand for birthing services at Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC)outweighed the overall birthing demand across the Territory. The period of high demand placed significant pressure on capacity within the hospital and resulted in some women raising concerns about the MoC. These concerns largely related to the approach under the MoC for well women to go home within 24 hours after giving birth.

An independent review team was commissioned through Women's Healthcare Australasia to review the CHWC Maternity Services MoC. It examined and provided an assessment of:

  • the MoC in the new CHWC maternity unit and
  • the capacity of ACT Maternity Services to meet current and future demand, taking into account recent changes to service demand as well as the MoC including a commitment to expand capacity on the north side of Canberra.

The report on the review of the MoC and ACT Health's response to the report were placed on the ACT Government Time to Talk website, and submissions were invited from the public between 28 November 2013 and 10 January 2014. Extensive internal consultation occurred in relation to the MoC during the review period. No feedback was tabled by staff during the consultation process. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT, Friends of the Birth Centre, Health Care Consumers Association and one ACT consumer provided feedback on the report. Their submissions were also published on the Time to Talk website. After submissions were received, ACT Health's response to the report did not change.

The Maternity Leadership Group will oversee the implementation of the recommendations. This group has broad representation from medical and midwifery staff in the service, as well as a representative from the People, Strategy and Services branch. The meeting is chaired by the Clinical Director and Assistant Director of Midwifery. There is also consumer representation.

The Maternity Leadership Group is developing an action plan for the next three to five years, which will outline the service's plans to address the recommendations. This will be reviewed by senior management on an ongoing basis.

Community health programs

Healthcare Access at School

Healthcare Access at School (HAAS) provides nurse-led care to students with complex or invasive healthcare needs, while they are at school. This service is provided by the ACT Health Directorate's Women Youth and Children Community Health Program in partnership with the ACT Education and Training Directorate.

Following four community forums across the ACT in November 2012 and a successful pilot program during 2013, this MoC is now being implemented across all ACT Government schools, including the specialist schools. For school staff and parents of students attending Black Mountain, Cranleigh and Malkara schools, where a nurse has previously been based at the school, the move to nurse-led care is a significant change. It was important to communicate the changes to all concerned.

Black Mountain School (BMS) was the first specialist school to transition to the HAAS MoC. Information about the new model was delivered at meetings with school staff and parents, in the school newsletter, in letters and brochures sent to parents, and by phoning affected parents. More than 100 staff members attended the staff meetings, and five parents attended the community meetings. Individual phone discussions with parents about the new HAAS model were the most successful, as the discussion could be tailored to their child and how the transition would affect them. Parents and staff voiced concerns but were supportive of the new model. Since the implementation of HAAS at BMS, parents and staff members have shown good support. Some school staff members have been, or are being, trained as HAAS workers.