Shared maternity care means that a woman's pregnancy care is shared between the Royal Women’s Hospital and a doctor or local midwife who is affiliated with the hospital.
Shared maternity care is a popular option of care for healthy women with a normal pregnancy. There are over 600 shared maternity care GPs, obstetricians and midwives affiliated with the Royal Women's Hospital to provide shared maternity care.
Shared maternity care affiliates and hospital-based doctors and midwives act as a team in the provision of a woman's antenatal care. Responsibility is shared for the woman's care including communication and management of results and abnormal findings.
Occasionally, a woman who normally would be excluded from shared maternity care is best served by this model of care. In these cases, individual care plans are developed by a hospital obstetrician.
The Women's supports and assists our shared maternity care affiliates with the provision of a wealth of resources including:
- Pregnancy Hand Held Record - a patient held record for completion at both community and hospital visits. This is a key means of communication between the hospital and shared maternity care affiliate.
- Shared Maternity Care Coordinator - the key person for non-urgent contact for both women and shared maternity care affiliates. Registers women for shared care, provides women with pregnacy hand held record and sends documentation and results to shared maternity care affiliates.
- Registrar - of the team caring for the woman, or the on-call obstetric registrar can be contacted directly to discuss urgent or complex clinical issues via the hospital's main reception.
- Pregnancy Day Service - shared maternity care affiliates can refer women directly for assessment and management of common pregnancy problems such as hyperemesis, hypertension, small for dates or decreased fetal movements.
- Emergency Department (Women's Emergency Care) - open 24 hours a day 7 days a week for assesment of urgent antenatal and postnatal problems. Referal by phone or letter is expected and appreciated. A record of the woman's visit will be documented in the pregnancy hand held record.