Work has now commenced in Victoria on a framework for public health services that provides guidance on the appropriate mechanisms to consider, implement or review collaborative arrangements with [Medicare] Eligible Midwives (EM) providing midwifery care to women who are admitted privately and seeking to birth in hospital under the care of the EM.
The framework will give effect to action item 1.2.2 of the National Maternity Services Plan (2010) and will identify the key issues and areas that need to be considered by public health services including operational, legislative, regulatory and professional issues and requirements at the Commonwealth, state and health service level.
The 3Centres Collaboration is undertaking the work on behalf of the Department of Health (DH), including consultation and drafting of a framework.
The scope of the framework is to provide guidance on the specific issues related to collaborative arrangements between EMs who are providing care for women admitted as private patients, and Victorian public hospitals.
The framework will be accompanied with tools and resources to assist with implementation. The framework will need to be adaptable to the specific demands of smaller/rural services as well as large metropolitan services and while it will be guided by what is being put in place in other states/territories it will need to reflect the specific governance arrangements for Victorian health services.
An expert reference group (ERG) of key stakeholders and sector interests has been convened to provide additional advice to the DH and the 3 Centres Collaboration.
Broad community and sector consultation will take place in November 2011 and provide an opportunity for managers and clinicians involved in maternity care, GPs and GP Obstetricians, midwives, and consumers to learn and contribute to the development of the framework. Locations for the forums are Warrnambool, Bendigo, Ballarat, Wangaratta, Traralgon and Melbourne.
For information about the ERG and the dates, times and venues for the consultation forums visit www.health.vic.gov.au/nursing. It is expected that the framework will be completed for ratification and dissemination in February 2012.