With an aim to improve outcomes and satisfaction for pregnant women and families based on the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston region, Peninsula Health’s new midwifery caseload model of care has a primary focus on continuity of care. The model provides care from a known caseload midwife to women early in pregnancy through to labour, birth and the initial postnatal period.
“Due to it being an all-risk model, this caseload model differs from some others in the state,” says Peninsula Health Women’s Health Unit Acting Midwifery Unit Manager, Gillian McPartland. “So, regardless of how complicated your pregnancy is, you’ll have a midwife who can follow your pregnancy and attend appointments with you — providing continuity of care.”
“Each caseload midwife works on-call to provide individualised care to the women they care for, with the support of back-up midwives in the team,” explains Peninsula Health Midwifery Group Practice Associate Midwifery Unit Manager, Kate Duggan. “We have had four babies already in the first two weeks under this new model, and these women and families have really benefitted from the experience. They have been very appreciative of being able to have this model.”
Baby Taylor George Joules was one of the first babies to be born at Peninsula Health under this new model. His mother, Ella Slingsby, was supported by Peninsula Health Caseload Midwife, Aimee Wrede, through labour, following birth and postnatally. “I feel very privileged and lucky to have had Aimee as my midwife,” says Ella. “I felt like I connected really well with her and she was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process. It has been an amazing experience.”
The program has been very popular with women and families so far. “It is an exciting opportunity to be able to provide this type of care,” adds Kate. “We have been overwhelmed with referrals, and we hope to be able to continue to expand the team to be able to reach as many women and families as possible.”
Women can ask their GP to add their interest on the referral sent to the hospital, or they can ask at their antenatal care appointment. “There is no time limit, but the earlier in the pregnancy the better,” says Gillian. “Since this model is just starting out, the numbers of women who can be accepted are limited.”