"Townsville Midwifery Group Practice"

About: The Townsville Hospital / Midwifery Group Practice

(as the patient),

I am due to give birth to my second baby. My first birthing experience was far from pleasant. I went from being a Birth Centre patient to having an unwanted C-section with very little support and it was highly traumatic.

Being high risk I decided to pursue the Midwifery Group Practice so that I could have the continuity of care I feel I desperately need to have a healing birth. I recieved a spot with an amazing midwife who thoroughly respected and supported me and my birth rights. I finally felt 100% confident in myself and my ability to have an amazing VBAC or at least a very peaceful and fulfilling C-section if it came to that.

Around the 23 week mark I recieved a phone call saying that my midwife was leaving and that I was on a waiting list to be taken on by a replacement when or if one became available and as it was such short notice I would have to organise my appointments with the hospital right away.

I am 31 weeks and still have not had a phone call or any further information regarding care through the MGP.

To be essentially thrown out of a program I feel I desperately need is highly distressing. I have been left in the dark and I feel little to no confidence when it comes to my labour now.

Having one midwife who knows me and my story that can stand by me is extremely important to me. I am extremely fearful of developing PND again after another horrible birthing experience and feel emotionally drained thinking about how it's going to go without that strong support.


Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear Shemms,

Firstly let me say a heartfelt thank you for sharing such a personal story, I am saddened to hear that your experience with our Midwifery Group Practice has left you feeling distressed and emotionally drained. I apologise to you that this has been your experience, especially after knowing that you had such a positive experience initially. I understand you when you say this is causing you to feel unsupported.

It is for this reason Shemms, that I strongly encourage you to please make contact with our Patient Liaison Service who will actively assist you in making contact with the appropriate person to make the necessary arrangements to facilitate continuity of care. Patient Liaison Service can be contacted directly on 44331074.

Once again, I am really sorry that you have experienced our services in this way and you can be reassured that the story you have shared with us will be used to build improvements based on it.

With kind regards

Julie Shepherd

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Update posted by shemms (the patient)

Thank you for your response. May I add that I, in no way am trying to have a go at the wonderful midwives that work as part of the MGP. I feel extremely fortunate to have even met with the midwife I was seeing and her new ladies are extremely lucky to have someone as passionate and as caring as her. I also know that the present midwives are doing an amazing job and are already working to their capacity trying to take on such a heavy load.

This program is extremely important to the mental wellbeing of many women and I feel as though not only the patients but the midwives need more support so that they are able to receive and give the best possible care.

I will be in touch using the contact details you provided.

Thank you again

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear shemms,

Thank you for your kind words; I definitely agree with you that our MGP program is particularly important in supporting our mums and bubs overall wellbeing.

I am really glad that you have decided to make contact with our patient liaison service.

I would like you to know shemms that hearing stories such as yours is actually really helpful in terms of highlighting for us, the things that we could do better. So thank you for telling us of your experience.

I wish you all the very best for your future.

With warm regards,

Julie Shepherd

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