Rockhampton hospital, generic.    Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton hospital, generic. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK290816chospital5

$23m to maternity services following review

CENTRAL Queensland maternity services will be receiving a $23 million investment from the State Government, following the recent independent expert review ordered by former CQHHS CEO Len Richards in February.

About 35 recommendations were made by the independent experts who conducted the review to improve the quality of care for the region's women and babies after the death of one baby and the injury of three others in 2015/2016.

The children were transferred to Brisbane specialists due to the seriousness of their injuries, with some families making efforts to seek legal action through firm Maurice Blackburn.

The issue started a storm of controversy, including union protest rallies and a vote of no confidence, for Mr Richards after he made comments relating to the birthing incidents and the hospital's midwives.

Mr Richards said there were some common themes throughout the incidents, including the interpretations of cardiotocographs (monitoring of the baby's heart during labour) and delivery, and "escalations” between midwives and obstetricians.

Mr Richards quickly apologised for upsetting staff with his comments, and resigned months later in a move that was reportedly unrelated to the maternity issues.

The state's multi-million dollar funding will be delivered over four years and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the health service had appointed a new permanent Clinical Director in Rockhampton and was "energetically” recruiting senior midwives to support the ongoing education of staff.

Acting Chief Executive Jo Whitehead said the service was on track to implement the recommendations of the review by the end of 2016.

"We are absolutely committed to providing the best care possible for our mothers and babies and the financial support and expert advice provided has enabled us to deliver on that commitment,” she said.

Ms Whitehad said senior midwives had also been recruited to support the ongoing development of the service and education of staff.

"Director of Nursing and Midwifery Susan Foyle has just attended a midwifery conference in the United Kingdom with the specific aim of recruiting experienced midwives. She has interviewed a number of suitably skilled staff and expects to fill several vacant positions,” she said.

"I am very pleased we have been able to secure the permanent appointment of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Peter Ganter as clinical director, who has commenced in the role permanently. Also, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Jacob Adeniyi for his commitment while the Acting Clinical Director.”



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