Delivering a Healthy WA
Health Networks - Collaborative health care planning for the whole community

Womens and Newborns Health Network

Dr Janet Hornbuckle and Mr Graeme Boardley, Co-Leads

Womens and Newborns Health Network Symposium

The Womens and Newborns Health Network held a symposium on Friday 9 May which featured guest speakers Associate Professor Angela Bowen (external site) from the University of Saskatoon, and Professor Sally Kendall (external site) from the University of Hertfordshire.

The event was attended by around 170 people and included presentations on perinatal mental health, Aboriginal maternal health, safer parenting, and models of care.

Positive feedback was received, with participants describing the event as:

  • “relevant and contemporary research/programs”
  • “increased awareness of useful resources – so great this information was shared”
  • “networking opportunities, ability to put faces to names”
  • “high quality presentations covering a broad range of topics”
  • “presentations that were applicable to practice – new ideas we can incorporate, e.g. PASS, Kimberley Mums Scale, Boodjari Yorgas booklet”
  • “booklet received on projects and abstracts is incredible useful, particularly in increasing understanding of the Health Network projects as I wasn’t aware of its’ wide reach”
  • “hearing about inspiring changes in practice by midwives and other healthcare professionals at the coal face.  Fantastic presentations on and by Aboriginal Health Workers”.

The symposium booklet (PDF), containing abstracts of all the presentations, is now available on our website.

Maternal Continuity of Care Working Group

This working group was established in 2011 to support the implementation of maternity continuity of care models in WA public hospitals. This method of practice aims to ensure women receive care by the same midwife or small group of midwives throughout their pregnancy and during labour and the postnatal period.

Group Member Kate Reynolds, from Bunbury Regional Hospital, presented at the Network’s recent symposium on the implementation of Midwifery Group Practice at Bunbury which has now been in place for 12 months.

The two key priorities for this group for 2014 are:

  • Supporting the finalisation of the Midwifery Annualised Salary Agreement to facilitate the implementation of continuity of care models across WA public hospitals.
  • Reviewing and adopting the NSW Midwifery Continuity of Carer Model Toolkit (2012) for use across Western Australia.

Refugee and Migrant Women Continuity of Care Models

This sub-group of the Maternity Continuity of Care Working Group considers specific issues relating to refugee and migrant women in accessing maternity services across WA Health.

The group has now facilitated three successful metropolitan workshops at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Armadale Health Service and Osborne Park Hospital. A further workshop is planned for Rockingham later this year.  The feedback from these workshops will be used to inform improvements in maternal care for refugee and migrant women and their families.

Having a Baby in WA website upgrade

The Network is continuing to work with WA Health’s website development team to migrate the Having a Baby website to the new Healthy WA (external site) consumer website.

The new look website will incorporate feedback on the content, look and accessibility of the website based on feedback received from surveys and focus groups last year.

An aspect of this redevelopment which we are very excited about is enabling Aboriginal and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups the ability to easily access information in their own language.

The purpose of the website remains to be a source for clear, consistent, local and appropriate information for expectant parents, families, and care givers about maternity care and services in WA, including information on lifestyle and health issues so informed maternity care choices can be made.

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Model of Care and Service Delivery

The Womens and Newborns Health Network is supporting a working group led by North Metropolitan Area Health Service which is developing a Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Model of Care and Service Delivery. The Model has been informed by a workshop held in July 2012.

The Model identifies key areas and priorities to improve access to quality services across the continuum of care. One aspect of this will be to ensure services are delivered within an integrated service model to meet the needs of parents, infants, children, significant others and families in the perinatal period.

Data development report for National Maternity Service Plan

The Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia: National maternity data development project - Stage 1 (external site) report is now available.

The report presents the findings of Stage 1 of the National Maternity Data Development Project which was established in response to the National Maternity Services Plan. The aim of the project is to build a more comprehensive and consistent national data collection for maternal and perinatal health.

National information needs for maternity data were identified and data development commenced. A system for classifying maternity models of care was developed and improved coordination of national maternal mortality data collection was implemented.