Children of Caboolture
Why are we focused on this group?
The high level of health need for children in the Caboolture Hospital catchment is overlaid with social factors, including some areas of significant socioeconomic disadvantage.
Recognition of these needs has resulted in increased service delivery from public, private and non-government providers, as well as a number of initiatives focused on collaborative action to improve outcomes. The Alliance aims to support and extend existing initiatives, and adds value by focusing more directly on reorienting and supporting health service provision for these children.
In 2018, senior representatives from Caboolture Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Children's Health Queensland and Brisbane North PHN came together for the Health Alliance's initial meeting focused on 'Children of Caboolture'. The commitment of those in the room to improving healthcare and health outcomes for children born in Caboolture Hospital was evident, as well as the need to break down the silos across health services involved in the care of pregnant women, children and families. This group became the 'Children of Caboolture Core Group' to drive the work forward.
- Dr Dana Newcomb, Children's Health Queensland
- Craig Kennedy, Children's Health Queensland
- Dr John Waugh, Caboolture Hospital
- Angie Dobbrick, Caboolture Hospital
- Laura Stevens, Metro North Hospital and Health Service
- Libby Dunstan, Brisbane North PHN
- Megan Kreis, Metro North Hospital and Health Service
- Kathy Faulkner, Brisbane North PHN
- Warwick Pawsey, Brisbane North PHN
The Alliance also works with local services providers, including midwives, child health nurses, general practitioners, practice nurses, specialists, consumers, carers and families.
It was agreed to take an early intervention approach and focus on improving healthcare for children and families from preconception to four years. Extensive consultation occurred with the stakeholders in the Caboolture region, including midwives, child health nurses, specialist, general practitioners and practice nurses, and consumers, carers and families. With over 250 points of engagement, the Health Alliance understands the challenges and opportunities within the system. Early consultation findings informed the decision to further narrow the scope to 'building supportive relationships in the care of children from conception to six months'.
The Starting Well Initiative
After further engagement with the sector, it became clear that there was opportunity to co-design a new pathway of care for maternity services to enable a families' midwife, child health nurse and GP to work more closely together. With the Caboolture Hospital maternity service and community child health service, the Health Alliance co-designed a new pathway of antenatal and postnatal care, known at the 'Starting Well Initiative' focussed on four key elements:
- increased continuity of midwifery care with a named midwife
- warm transitions and increased uptake of child health services
- co-location of maternity services and child health services in the community
- increased connections with primary care
The pathway began in February 2020, with significant positive early outcomes. The Health Alliance is supporting the monitoring and quality improvement of the pathway.
Connect 4 Children Moreton Bay
As part of 'Give All Our Children a Great Start', the Department of Education is the lead agency for improving children's wellbeing prior to school, known as the Connect 4 Children strategy. The Department of Education, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, and the Metro North HHS and Brisbane North PHN Health Alliance, in association with Children's Health Queensland, are working in partnership in the Morten Bay region. This partnership ensures that collective work aligns, avoids duplication and addresses service gaps, and acts to improve the connections and transitions between the health and education sectors. Joint consultations for community birth-five plans is underway, as well as improving the transitions and referral pathway between the Starting Well Initiative, child health programs, and quality school-based playgroups.