Helping women find
the best maternity care
Canberra Maternity Options is a new way for women from the ACT to learn about and access Canberra’s public maternity system.
Under the streamlined system there will be a single access point: women will call 5124 9977 to arrange to meet with a midwife close to their home at around 10-12 weeks gestation. The midwife will talk to the woman about the public pregnancy and birthing options available, complete a health and wellbeing assessment and discuss the best maternity care options for the woman.
Women will no longer book directly with a hospital or model of care: following the health and wellbeing assessment the midwife will advise them on options and help them find the best care for them.
Why is the system changing?
We have heard from new parents that it’s not always clear what to do when they first find out they’re having a baby. Canberra Maternity Options will ensure pregnant women receive the right care at the right place, at the right time.
The change has been shaped by consultations with mums, mums-to-be, health practitioners, hospital maternity staff and GPs.
The role of the GP won’t change
GPs remain a vital part of the new system and will continue to do initial investigations and support of early pregnancy care. GPs provide health care advice that helps their patients navigate the health system and supports the long term needs of their growing family.
Your comprehensive referral for care will help inform the health and wellbeing assessment and model of care discussion with the midwife. Referrals can be faxed to 02 5124 1082 or submitted via Smartforms. Your referral will be centrally managed by the Canberra Maternity Options Team.
Following the appointment with a midwife, the woman will commence their model of care at either Centenary Hospital for Women and Children or Calvary Public Hospital in Bruce. Women will be contacted by the relevant hospital to arrange their first appointment.
You will still be able to refer patients with complex health needs to the Fetal Medicine Unit at Centenary Hospital for Women and Children by faxing your referral to 5124 3154. Management of early pregnancy complications remain unchanged.
GP Shared Care will be promoted as a model of care that women can choose and we will notify you about what model of care your patient will commence.
The woman will also be contacted by their model of care to arrange their first appointment.
To help inform your patients of the change, we have created handouts you can print and give to your patients:
Your patients can find out more about their options online at health.act.gov.au/maternity
Frequently asked questions