Making Birthing Wards Safer For New Mums And Staff

The Andrews Labor Government is helping make public maternity wards safer and saving hospitals money in the process with the rollout of a new program.

The program trains birthing suite clinicians how to better manage and identify risks, with a focus on key areas like neonatal resuscitation, foetal surveillance and emergency simulation.

Assistant Treasurer Robin Scott recently visited Ballarat Health, one of 39 Victorian health services to have successfully met the requirements of the Incentivising Better Patient Safety program in its first year.

As a result, more than $2.6 million will be funnelled back to these hospitals and services, to be reinvested to improve patient safety for women and babies.

Most babies in Victoria are born healthy and well, but every year, about 10 per cent of Victorian babies need help with their first breaths and one per cent need extensive resuscitation.

To earn the first year’s payback, hospitals needed to have at least 80 per cent of its birth suite clinicians complete the training.

Eighty-six per cent of eligible hospitals met the criteria in its first year. Developed by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority in consultation with Safer Care Victoria and the health sector, the program aims to deliver up to $16 million back to public hospitals over five years.

The refund offered through the program helps hospitals continue birthing training. Similar programs, alongside other factors, have contributed to a 64 per cent drop in obstetric claims made to VMIA since 2003.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Treasurer Robin Scott

“This is an innovative program that means improved patient care for women and their babies across Victoria.”

“Australia is one of the safest countries in the world to give birth or be born – this program is helping Victorian hospitals continue to improve on that enviable record.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“We’re doing more to ensure Ballarat mums have a safe birthing experience – this innovative program is about improving what is already a fantastic maternity service here at Ballarat Health.”

Quote attributable to VMIA CEO Colin Radford

“As the state’s insurer and risk adviser, we’re here to help public hospitals better understand and manage risks in the birth suite to support a healthier, safer community.”

Quote attributable to Ballarat Health CEO Dale Fraser

“With almost 1,500 births in the last financial year, Ballarat Health is committed to delivering world-class, safe health care for women and babies.”