Australian maternity reform through clinical redesign.

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Journal Article
Australian health review : a publication of the Australian Hospital Association, 2012, 36 (2), pp. 169 - 175
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The current Australian national maternity reform agenda focuses on improving access to maternity care for women and their families while preserving safety and quality. The caseload midwifery model of care offers the level of access to continuity of care proposed in the reforms however the introduction of these models in Australia continues to meet with strong resistance. In many places access to caseload midwifery care is offered as a token, usually restricted to well women, within limited metropolitan and regional facilities and where available, places for women are very small as a proportion of the total service provided. This case study outlines a major clinical redesign of midwifery care at a metropolitan tertiary referral maternity hospital in Sydney. Caseload midwifery care was introduced under randomised trial conditions to provide midwifery care to 1500 women of all risk resulting in half of the publicly insured women receiving midwifery group practice care. The paper describes the organisational quality and safety tools that were utilised to facilitate the process while discussing the factors that facilitated the process and the barriers that were encountered within the workforce, operational and political context.
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