Full birthing reinstated at Gladstone Hospital
Published Tuesday, 13 June, 2023 at 10:02 AM
Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service has reinstated its usual full birthing services at the Gladstone Hospital.
Following the recruitment of additional obstetrics and gynaecology specialists, Gladstone Hospital returns to its full usual birthing service, meaning all expectant mothers with low-risk pregnancies, being 37 weeks or more gestation, can give birth closer to home.
Extensive work has been undertaken to recruit qualified medical professionals to cover vacancies, while also building a framework that will deliver a safe and sustainable long-term solution for maternity care across Central Queensland.
Like many hospitals, the region was impacted by staff shortages, and unable to operate a full birthing service. A phased reintroduction of services has followed since October 2022, with the third and final phase now being reintroduced.
As has always been the case, higher risk pregnancies will be referred to Rockhampton, which has more specialised support. The highest risk pregnancies have always been referred to tertiary hospitals and this will continue. Our multidisciplinary maternity care teams will continue to support expectant mothers to ensure they receive the best possible care in the safest location.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Women, Shannon Fentiman:
“I know this commitment to return birthing services to Gladstone comes with great relief for many expecting mothers and families.
“One of my priorities as Health Minister and Minister for Women was to ensure that women in regional Queensland have access to high-quality care, close to home, no matter where they live.
“I want to thank the amazing women who met with me, and tirelessly campaigned for local birthing services in their community. I also want to acknowledge the advocacy of local MP, Minister Glenn Butcher.
“I acknowledge challenges being felt by maternity services across the state and I want to thank all the hardworking staff for continuing to provide exceptional care for this community.
“I will continue to support those on the frontline to ensure we can deliver a safe and sustainable maternity service into the future.”
Quotes attributable to the Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher:
“We cast our net and have now recruited enough obstetrics and gynaecology specialists to see the return of these crucial services to the Gladstone Hospital.
“We committed to rolling out Phase 3 by June and we have achieved just that.
“This has been a difficult wait for many, and I thank the Gladstone community for their patience and ongoing advocacy.”
Quotes attributable to Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive, Dr Emma McCahon:
“Our multidisciplinary maternity care teams across Central Queensland have worked tirelessly to support expectant mothers and their families while birthing has been on bypass at Gladstone Hospital. I unreservedly thank them for ensuring we continue to deliver exemplary patient care during this period.
“I am thrilled we have returned to full birthing at Gladstone Hospital. We are returning to a service that is in a much better state than what we started with. Our team is stronger, and we better understand what our community wants and needs from a maternity service.
“Since we began reinstating birthing in October 2022, we have seen more than half of our families give birth at Gladstone.
Media Contact: Natarjsha Kramer - 0456 436 934