by Tanya Farrell
Chair, Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity
Victoria remains one of the safest places for women to give birth and for our children to grow into adults. As a healthcare system and a community, we should be proud of that; however, challenges continue.
In rising to these challenges, we must learn from the events and case reviews that provide us insights into missed opportunities and areas that need further improvement, both from within our hospitals and across our community.
In the forefront of our minds must always be women, their partners, parents and families who go home without their babies or their children, or mothers who die during pregnancy or in the year following birth and never experience the joy of motherhood.
These outcomes may occur even when the best healthcare has been delivered by the best clinicians, and where access to services has been timely and all possible care provided to keep our mothers and children safe.
Using a report like this – analysing data and taking the learnings from case reviews, themes are highlighted recommendations and good practice points are made for all of us to carefully consider for implementation. Some of these maybe easier to undertake and achieve than others.
However, if they are not implemented can we truly say we are improving the care and experiences for women, babies, children and adolescents, through lessons learnt? We must always ask ourselves, ‘If care or the situation was different, would the outcome have been different?’
This approach at times takes courage but will assist us in strengthening our complex healthcare system, as well as provide better outcomes and experiences for those in our care.
I acknowledge that we work and receive care in a complex system. However, we all have a part to play to ensure that this system delivers care consistently, meets the needs of those it cares for while remembering the needs of those who work in it.
For clinicians, it’s not just the care we provide but how we provide that care with patients as our partners that is important – they are who matter most and there is always more to do.