The Maternity Services Forum 2016 was convened at the request of the then-Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Mr Cameron Dick in response to concerns that had been raised about a range of issues related to public maternity service delivery. While some of the issues identified were local and are currently being addressed at a local level, there were some common systemic themes. The forum was an opportunity to discuss each of the issues and reach agreement on how best to address them.
Almost 120 stakeholders attended the Maternity Services Forum with each Hospital and Health Service represented by an obstetrician, midwife and consumer.
The forum was opened by the Director-General, Department of Health, Mr Michael Walsh. He acknowledged the disparity in outcomes for Indigenous women and babies, and renewed the Department of Health’s commitment to closing the gap. He noted that Queenslanders have maternity outcomes that are amongst the best in the world, but the forum was an opportunity to review the current performance of our maternity services and identify areas for improvement.
At the conclusion of the forum, Dr Wakefield challenged the attendees to transform the day's discussions into action. From a system or departmental perspective, Dr Wakefield reminded the group that a set of issues was the trigger for the day’s forum. He asked the attendees to harness the momentum and work together to deliver the world’s best maternity services.
He also gauged interest in the formation of three working groups to work alongside the Statewide Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network.