Hospitals and Health Services in the Macedon Ranges will receive a funding boost to help doctors, nurses and midwives better monitor women and their unborn babies.

Forty six hospitals including Kyneton District Health and Castlemaine Health 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.

Both Kyneton District Health and Castlemaine Health will receive a $10,000 to build their fetal surveillance capacity, making sure the right systems are in place to deliver higher quality and safer maternity care.

Karen Laing, Director of Nursing, Quality & Community Engagement at Kyneton District Health welcomed the additional funding. “This is such an important issue. All of the midwives & Obstetricians at Kyneton District Health complete Fetal Surveillance competency training every year but, as a small rural health service, we rely on strong links with other services.”

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, 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 Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP

“The safety of women and their babies in the Macedon area 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.”

“This new fetal monitoring program is just one way we’re improving the quality and safety of maternity wards across the state.”