Friday, December 5, 2008

NSW - Acute services in public hospitals

The final report of the Garling Inquiry into acute services in NSW public hospitals was released on Nov 27th.

Quoting from the overview, p24
1.151 I received a large number of submissions about maternity services and the need to give midwives more freedom and responsibility for being involved with helping mothers have babies.
1.152 This is a complex question because some of the matters I was asked to make
recommendations about really belong in the Commonwealth sphere and don’t fall within
my Terms of Reference. As well, there quite complex issues about safety and quality
which require careful thought. Nevertheless, I felt able, on the basis of the evidence which I received to make recommendations about enhancing the midwifery workforce, and seeing whether midwifery case-load models of care where the same midwife looks after the mother from their first appointment until about 4 weeks after the birth of the baby can be introduced to more hospitals than at present. I make a specific recommendation, in the interest of the safety of the mother and child which is that NSW Health only offer birthing facilities for low risk mothers in hospitals which satisfy the following criteria:
(i) the hospital has an adequate number of health professionals qualified and trained to assist with the birth, such as midwives or VMOs with the necessary credentials; and
(ii) the hospital has, on-site, or else has the ability to transfer the mother within 30 minutes travel time to a hospital which has on-site, the workforce and facilities to perform an emergency caesarean section." [Report, p24]

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