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Safer Monitoring For Victorian Women Giving Birth

29 September 2016

Hospitals across Victoria will receive a funding boost to help doctors, nurses and midwives better monitor women and their unborn babies.

Forty six hospitals will share in $1.4 million in funding to improve their fetal surveillance processes as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s work to strengthen the quality and safety of Victorian maternity wards.

The new fetal surveillance grant program will better develop the skills and knowledge of all staff providing maternity care in monitoring the health of babies prior to birth.

Depending on size, hospitals will receive a grant of between $10,000 and $88,000 to build their fetal surveillance capacity, making sure the right systems are in place to deliver higher quality and safer maternity care.

Improving fetal surveillance was a key priority following the review of stillbirths and newborn deaths at Djerriwarrh Health Services.

We are providing significant funding to improve quality and safety at rural and regional hospitals such as Djerriwarrh, with $16.8 million in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 to support this work.

This includes specialised training programs relating to emergency management and maternity care led by the Royal Women’s Hospital for smaller rural health services, and the strengthening of state-wide incident and response management systems.

Staff at all health services with maternity services are also now required to undertake intensive training to help them better identify and address risks during birth.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“The safety of women and their babies is our highest priority, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure Victoria’s maternity services are as safe as they can be.”

“It’s crucial that hospitals continue to train and develop their staff so they have the skills they need to better monitor women and their babies before giving birth.”

“We are doing everything possible to make sure what happened at Djerriwarrh never happens again – this new fetal monitoring program is just one way we’re improving the quality and safety of maternity wards across the state.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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