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Longreach maternity survey released to public

Friday 14 February 2020

A landmark survey undertaken last year of women who have used Longreach Hospital’s maternity service has been released to the public and published on the web.

The survey was undertaken during March and May last year of women who had their babies while living in the Central West between 2014 and 2018.

Longreach Hospital Senior Medical Officer Dr Kirsty Symmons said the survey received 112 responses and had shown overwhelming support for and satisfaction with the maternity service.

“We have worked through the survey, de-identified all responses to preserve confidentiality and are now happy to publish the full results for everyone to access if they so wish,’’ she said.

“On average, between 80–90 per cent of the responses indicated high satisfaction levels with most aspects of the maternity service,’’ Dr Symmons said.

“Around 90 per cent of respondents who delivered in Longreach said they would deliver in Longreach again and recommend it to others.

“Around 88 per cent said they chose to birth at Longreach because of the convenience of being closer to home, rather than having to leave the region entirely.

“Around 85 per cent of respondents also agreed that their birth preferences were well supported.

“The quality of the maternity service’s ante and postnatal care also received high marks.

“These are very positive results and I believe the Longreach Hospital maternity unit should be very proud of what has been achieved.’’

Dr Symmons said the results of the survey would be used to develop future enhancements to the maternity service.

“We appreciate the time and effort of all the women who gave their feedback and are in the process of implementing multiple improvements to the service in response,’’ she said.

“For instance, the survey indicated that 100 per cent of women were either satisfied or very satisfied with their appointments by telehealth, with the convenience of not having to travel being one of the main reasons.

“As a result, the maternity unit will be looking at further optimising the use of telehealth wherever possible, especially for outlying towns.’’

The maternity unit was significantly upgraded in March 2018 as part of a $14.5 million redevelopment of Longreach Hospital.

“As part of the redevelopment, the maternity unit was relocated from the ground floor to the first floor and offers three single ensuite rooms, a birth suite, a maternity assessment room, a nursery and an equipment room,’’ Dr Symmons said.

“The ensuite rooms in particular have been very well-received, with very positive feedback from women and their families.

“Indeed, just over 95 per cent of respondents to the maternity survey were satisfied or very satisfied with the new birth suite and the overall maternity ward.

“The three single rooms on the maternity ward are big rooms with an ensuite but also an area with a sink where mums can give their babies baths.

“Importantly, the birthing suite also allows space for a woman to have her partner and/or support people present during the birth of the baby if she chooses.

“We also have on-site accommodation at no cost at Longreach Hospital for women in the lead-up to giving birth from 36 weeks onwards. This is particularly convenient for women who live away from Longreach.’’

Dr Symmons said between 60–65 babies were born at Longreach Hospital each year.

“We also provide antenatal care for about 100 women a year through our maternity service,’’ she said.

The full maternity service survey report can be found here.  


For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Last updated: 18 February 2020