The first babies have arrived out of the reinvigorated Midwifery Group Practice in Tamworth, and the new mother’s can’t speak highly enough of the “continuity of care” based service.
Early last year the program were forced to close its doors due to staff shortages, although a rigorous recruitment drive, a new training program, and a fresh model of care saw the caseload program reopen three months ago.
The community program sees expectant mothers assigned the same midwife from the initial appointments, through to labour and even into postnatal care. That “continuity of care” is widely regarded as the best possible practice, and endorsed as such by the World Health Organisation.
Second time mother Melissa Simpson had four year old Willow through the program, but then was left “feeling anxious” when planning her second, Jasper, before she got the good news on the phone earlier this year.
“We were considering hiring a private midwife because I really wanted to get that same care,” she said.
“I was seven months pregnant when I got the call from Robyn (Balding) to tell me that the community program was open again – I could have hugged her through the phone.”
Dimity Turner can’t speak highly enough of all midwives, although after having her third child, Rick, through the new program, would like to see all expectant mothers given the same chance.
“This is the first time I used the program, and I can’t fault it at all,” she said.
“It was so reassuring that every time I came up to the clinic I would see the same midwife, but I could also call her and text her at any time – it gave me a sense of calmness because Robyn knew me and knew what was going on – it was definitely an easier time this time around.”
“I recommend it to anyone who can get in.”
When it first re-opened the practice accepted 20 mothers, although with the training and recruitment working well that number has already grown to 40.
Clinical Midwife Specialist Robyn Balding said that eventually the caseload program hopes to have six full time midwives and 240 mothers on the books at any one time, although she would like to see it go even further.
“We started with two midwives and now we have three, so we are chipping away. I would love to have all six by the end of the year,” she said.
“At the moment we are taking in low risk women, but eventually I would like to see us taking in the high risk women as well.
“I would eventually like to see the entire midwife service in Tamworth, and even statewide, use the community model.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.