Taking a look at maternal care in the context of rural health

In Central Queensland by PHN Communications

Emerald GPs, Rural Generalists, GP Obstetricians, Midwives, Child health nurses, Allied Health professionals and others met on Saturday 16 June for a Maternity Shared Care update facilitated by Dr Wendy Burton, GP and Maternity Shared Care Educator, and Dr Ewen McPhee, Rural GP Obstetrician.

Many of these professionals had met with Dr Burton in the days prior at their workplaces, and over dinner, to highlight the most relevant local issues for the workshop.

The workshop was an interactive and stimulating day, designed to educate, equip and empower staff working in the Maternity sector. The diversity of attendees, shared skills and interest areas with the broader group and explored the delivery of shared care for maternity in Central Highlands.  Working collaboratively is a dynamic process which facilitates communication, trust and pathways that enable health professionals to deliver the best care to mothers and babies in the Central Highlands.

Dr Wendy Burton is an energetic and engaging speaker who challenged the group to improve the clinical handover between the maternity team.

Models of care at Emerald Hospital were thoroughly explored and health professionals built a greater understanding of networks and services in the area, and up to date clinical guidelines and recommendations were reviewed for all stages of Maternity Care.

Dr Burton reinforced the central role of GPs in pre-conception care, with the view that improving pre-pregnancy health of parents, and planning pregnancies will optimise health outcomes for the nation.

Specific details of screening for foetal chromosomal abnormalities were discussed, with local options for nuchal translucency screening.  Case discussions provided examples of important points of pregnancy care in all stages of pregnancy, including the “fourth trimester”.  Expert information was also provided by recorded interviews with Brisbane-based specialists, such as Dr Treasure McGuire, pharmacologist.

Dr Burton has developed clinical checklists for preconception discussion and early pregnancy, and encouraged providers to use these as an aid in antenatal consultations.

The workshop was supported by CQ Rural Health and the CQ WB SC PHN.  Thank you to the organisers for a well-catered, engaging and smoothly run day!

A further Maternity Alignment workshop is planned for Biloela on 1 September 2018, and for Rockhampton/ Capricorn Coast with a date to be confirmed.