A GOLD Coast team of experienced midwives will become the first in Queensland’s public health system to specialise in supporting vulnerable pregnant mothers suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse.
Three experienced midwives will lead the Midwifery Navigator Service to coordinate care between the mother, her primary carer, specialists and health professionals prior to, during birth, and for up to six weeks after birth.
The service launched last week and on the first day of operation, received more than 40 referrals.
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Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the Midwife Navigators hope to make a real difference.
“These Midwife Navigators will make a real difference for vulnerable pregnant women on the Gold Coast, who are often not engaged with the health system,” he said.
“They will work to coordinate appointments and escalate their care when necessary, which will lead to an improvement in perinatal outcomes for women, their babies, and their families.”
The Midwife Navigators join the broader Nurse Navigators program which will see 400 navigators employees across the state, 50 of whom will be placed on the Gold Coast.
“We introduced a new nurse navigator model of care and are seeing more than 400 nurse navigators employed across the state to improve access for patients for Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.
“Fifty of these navigators will be at the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.
“Statewide, up to 121 navigators have begun working in Hospital and Health Services and there are 119 navigators who will begin in 2017-18.”
According to the Queensland Health website, “Nurse Navigators are a team of registered nurses who provide a service for patients who have complex health conditions and require a high degree of comprehensive, clinical care.”
“These nurses are highly experienced and have an in-depth understanding of the health system.”
The new specialised program is funded by the State Government’s $212 million, four-year investment in Queensland’s nursing and midwifery workforce.