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Resounding results in Albury Wodonga

Published 05/04/2022

Director of Midwifery and Nursing, Julie Wright talks through her team’s experience with the Safer Baby collaborative, and their ongoing commitment to ensuring safe outcomes for mothers and babies.

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The team at Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) joined the Safer Baby Collaborative with the goal to reduce stillbirths by raising awareness around risk factors among clinicians, mothers and their partners.

Their results have been resounding – AWH was among the top three maternity services in Victoria for improving detection and management of fetal growth restriction (FGR).

“We felt very proud of this. Clinicians are now well versed in FGR detection and now know the actions to take when FGR is identified in a patient,” said Julie.

Safer Baby also opened doors for AWH to work collaboratively alongside like-minded maternity services. They also enjoyed learning a new approach to improvement work by testing changes, implementing and learning from the PDSA (plan-do-study-act) cycle.

They now have a shared understanding of the importance of informing women to sleep on their side during pregnancy as well as when to contact the health service if there is a reduced or altered pattern of fetal movements.

“The successful work undertaken endures and Albury Wodonga Health midwives and obstetric doctors are continuing their commitment to ensure safe outcomes for mothers and babies, and to continue to reduce the rate of avoidable stillbirths,” said Julie.

AWH developed a range of resources during the collaborative. They updated their Pregnancy Care Pathway for women (including a version for Aboriginal women) and created a fridge magnet to remind pregnant women of key practices. Key to driving their communications was their consumer representative, Sarah, who was instrumental in providing perspective on language used to engage families.

Tips for other health services joining a collaborative

  • Plan dedicated time to ensure to work on the project - finding time in busy work schedules can be a challenge despite commitment and good intent.
  • Short stints of time may work better than trying to set aside a whole day.
  • Engage a team and include junior midwives as they have a thirst to be involved that may not be visible.

Julie Wright is the Director of Midwifery and Nursing, Women’s and Children’s Services at Albury Wodonga Health.

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