Western Downs Introduces MGP Program

(from left) Dalby Hospital Midwifery Unit Manager Jacqueline Eales, Project Manager for Caseload Maternity Peta Zupp, and midwives Kate Fay and Sophie Shadbolt.

The Darling Downs Health Western Cluster has introduced a Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) program, providing women with continuity of care from a known midwife throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and early parenting.

The MGP program began on 18 November 2019 with all pregnant women across the Western Cluster able to opt in to receive this new model of care.

Dalby Health Service Director of Nursing and Midwifery / Facility Manager Lorraine Mathison said current midwifery staffing was realigned to provide the MGP while continuing to provide a core midwifery team based at Dalby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The MGP program provides personalised care for women during the life-changing experience of pregnancy, childbirth and new parenthood,” Ms Mathison said. Through the program, a pregnant woman is provided with a midwife who will accompany her at every step of her journey, including antenatal appointments, childbirth and postnatal care.”

“The MGP program gives women the comfort and reassurance of a familiar face who knows them, their circumstances and their history well, and it gives midwives greater job satisfaction by getting to know the mums in their care and being able to see them through this amazing chapter in their lives.”

Darling Downs Health Director of Nursing and Midwifery Western, Jennifer Goodwin said Dalby Hospital provides full care to expecting mums across the Western Downs, with MGP pods at Dalby and Chinchilla.

“Dalby Hospital looks after mums from the local community as well as mums from Chinchilla, Miles, Jandowae, Tara, and surrounding areas,” Ms Goodwin said. “To further support our mums from rural areas, we recently set up a new two-bedroom, fully furnished unit for mums and their families travelling to Dalby for the birth of their baby.”

“This unit gives mums the option of having a place to stay prior to birth and for the first few days after their new baby arrives. It is located a short distance from Dalby Hospital and mums staying at the unit will have the option of either receiving home visits from the midwives when available, or travelling to the hospital for antenatal or postnatal check-ups.”

Pregnant women who would like to join the MGP program at Dalby Hospital are encouraged to ask their GP to indicate that they wish to be considered for MGP care on their antenatal referral.

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