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May 19, 2021

Byron Central a state leader in maternity care

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Some of the midwifery team at Byron Central Hospital – midwives Zoe Davidson, Sarah Beadman, Chris Smith, Michelle Popple, Ti Harrison, Dani Smallwood and Sarah Vial. Photo Zandra Warland.

According to a survey of almost 4,500 women across the state who gave birth in 2019, hospitals in Northern NSW are some of the best in NSW in which to give birth.

Results from the 2019 Maternity Care Survey released last week shows the care at hospitals in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is among the top in the state, with women who gave birth at Byron Central Hospital having some of the most positive experiences of care.

In 2019, there were 2,942 births at hospitals within the Northern NSW Local Health District.

Ninety-three per cent of respondents from Byron Central Hospital said the care they received in hospital after the birth was ‘very good’ (the highest result in NSW), with 95 per cent saying they would ‘speak highly’ of their experience at the hospital.

One hundred per cent of respondents said the rooms, wards and toilets, were ‘very clean’, and 100 per cent of respondents said their feeding decisions were ‘always’ respected by health professionals. Ninety-three per cent said the health professional were ‘always’ kind and caring.

The vast majority (98 per cent) said the health professionals ‘always’ explained care in a way they could understand, and their emotional health was ‘definitely’ supported by staff (90 percent).

Antenatal care also got the tick of approval, with 100 per cent of respondents saying they were seen in under 30 minutes for their antenatal check-ups, compared to the NSW average of 54 per cent, and 85 per cent of respondents saying their antenatal care was ‘very good’.

Results a testament to compassionate care by dedicated team

NNSWLHD Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Cathy Adams, said the great results were a testament to the compassionate care by the dedicated team of midwives and doctors.

‘These great results are a reflection of all the hard work from our maternity services team,’ said Ms Adams.

‘We have excellent midwives who work with the family in a continuity of care model, which means they are with them every step of the way on their birthing journey.’

Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) continuity of care is where the woman and her family know the midwives who provide her care through pregnancy, labour, birth and at home after the baby is born.

In Northern NSW, MGP models are available for healthy, well women at Tweed, Murwillumbah, Byron and Lismore Hospitals.

According to the survey, women also had positive experiences of care at Lismore Base Hospital, with 86 percent saying the midwives and doctors who cared for them during labour and birth were also involved in their antenatal care, significantly higher than the NSW average.

Money-six percent said they were ‘always’ treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth.

At The Tweed Hospital, 84 per cent of respondents rated their overall antenatal care as ‘very good’, while 91 percent said they ‘always’ had trust and confidence in the midwives or doctors taking care of them.

At Grafton Base Hospital, 92 percent of respondents said the doctors and midwives were kind and caring towards them during birth, and if asked about their experience by family and friends, 79 percent would speak highly.

Murwillumbah District Hospital provides care for well women in a Midwifery Group Practice model. Results from Murwillumbah were not reported at the hospital level due the volume of responses, but are added into the LHD and NSW total results.

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