"Lack of continuity and support during antenatal care"
About: Exmouth Health Service Exmouth Health Service Exmouth 6707
Posted by Expecting in Exmouth (as ),
I am currently receiving antenatal care at Exmouth hospital and have been disappointed with the lack of continuity of care in this service. Fortunately I have been through a pregnancy before so I have some understanding of the process and tests required, but for a first time mother this may be an extremely daunting experience.
Our midwife is currently on leave for an extended period (~4 months) and has not been replaced so all antenatal appointments are via the GPs. The GPs do a fantastic job, especially as they have to staff the clinic and emergency department, but the clinic is very busy and the wait time for an up appointment is currently 4 weeks. Adding all antenatal care to their load seems unfair and I am wondering why no replacement midwife has been brought in for this period. Additionally, I was not initially told that antenatal appointments should be be back-to-back (I. e. 30 mins) so I was further clogging up an already busy system.
Finally, I have been disappointed to find that the National Pregnancy Handheld Record has still apparently not been introduced to Exmouth Community Health Service. This Handheld Record was introduced for the purpose of improving continuity of antenatal care and would be especially valuable in Exmouth as all pregnant women must transfer to a different health service to deliver their babies. The midwives who were responsible for my care at my 'birth' hospital during my last pregnancy were surprised (to say the least) when I turned up at 36 weeks gestation without a Handheld Record.
These issues will unfortunately probably not be resolved during my pregnancy but I hope that the system can be improved so that future antenatal care will provide greater continuity.