Maternity service a step closer

Castlemaine Health is a step closer to resuming maternity services with the announcement of the hospital’s new collaborative model of care.
Women will be able to access locally-based maternity care via three distinct pathways under the new model.
To receive care at Castlemaine Health, women will be able to self-refer or have their general practitioner or GP obstetrician refer them to the service. Self-referral is a new feature that gives women the option to enter the service directly and receive pregnancy care by midwives.
Women who are considered low risk and appropriate for care at Castlemaine Health will be able to choose between:
Midwifery Group Practice where the woman will be cared for by a primary known midwife throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and early parenting.
Collaborative Shared Care where the woman will receive pregnancy care from their chosen GP obstetrician and a known midwife. Their midwife will then provide care for labour and birth and early parenting.
A third pathway, Complex Maternity Care, will be available to women who are not suitable for care at Castlemaine Health due to a higher risk profile. These women will be cared for at Bendigo Health or a higher-level service but may be suitable for transfer back to Castlemaine for care after the birth of their baby.
Castlemaine Health CEO Ian Fisher said the aim had always been to deliver a maternity service to the community that was safe, accessible, equitable and woman centred.
“Under the new model all women will be able to receive maternity care that is suited to their needs, close to home and community, with clear pathways to Bendigo Health as needed,” Mr Fisher said.
Mr Fisher said the new model of care would be treated as a pilot model.
“We will review it in 12 months’ time to assess how it’s working and if any we need to make any alterations,” he said.
“The ANF and our nurses are currently working through the changes. We will then advertise for four new midwives to join our team.
“Once we have those team members in place we will be in a position to set a date for the reopening of the service in 2021.”
Castlemaine Health is hopeful the new model of care will attract more families to the service.
“It would be wonderful to see an increase in the number of women choosing to utilise our service,” Mr Fisher said.

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