Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Beaudesert Maternity Services Public Meeting - report & photos

See below for the report from Alison Gaffney, mother from Stanthorpe & Maternity Coalition's consumer representative on the Beaudesert Maternity Services Project. Thanks to Ali, Bruce, Maree and others for such a great turnout to the meeting.

About a hundred people turned up to the Beaudesert RSL on Tuesday 25 May to hear the presentations on the proposed re-opening of the Beaudesert maternity service. Michael Rice the local GP was the MC and provided an excellent picture for us to follow. Hazel Brittain the Project Officer described the proposal in detail. Jocelyn Toohill (Senior Lecturer in midwifery, Griffith Uni) spoke about other successful models to work this way in Australia and Canada. Anne Moore (QH Maternity Unit) provided a detailed description of the model of this type operating in Mareeba, Far North Qld. I spoke about the importance of continuity of carer and how I became a consumer activist. Bruce Teakle spoke about what's happened historically, that the ball is now in the community's court to see it through and MC will be across this, supporting it how ever we can.

There were politicians from the Liberals, the Greens and the newly independent state Member for Beaudesert who was with the LNP until less than 2 weeks ago. There were 3 Scenic Rim Councillors present and many men happy to stand up and say what they could see were the issues. An Aboriginal elder spoke about the importance of bringing birth back to the community. Mothers spoke about their very real questions and concerns like 'what if this doesn't go ahead?', and all were very supportive of it happening. The local Child Health nurse was also vocal about how much support she will continue to give around this model being implemented. Midwifery students spoke about how this is the sort of place they want to be working in. Midwives who are providing very limited care there at the moment spoke about their love of the job and their excitement at the prospect of providing so much more.

I was hugely inspired by such a great turn out and response by the community and especially of a community action group being formed to follow the projects developments, provide info and be a community voice when needed.

What is needed by you blog readers, is to email our State Health Minister Paul Lucas directly and make it clear that this is exactly the sort of service that Queenslanders want and need, to put our system and our families in good health.

Alison Gaffney

Hazel Brittain, midwife & Project Officer, Beaudesert Maternity Services Project:

Alison Gaffney, Maternity Coalition

Bruce Teakle, Maternity Coalition:

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