New Midwifery Group Practice announced for Southern Downs

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MGP Midwife Sam Gale with his newborn daughter Emmeline

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Expectant mothers in Warwick and Stanthorpe now have access to another model of maternity care, with the Southern Downs Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) now open.

The MGP model of care partners women with a known midwife who provides individual care needs and preferences during pregnancy, labour, birth and after birth care.

Darling Downs Health Executive Director Rural, Dr Chris Cowling said the introduction of the Southern Downs MGP, will reduce the need for expectant mothers based in Warwick and Stanthorpe to travel away from home for maternity care.

“We know that these communities, Stanthorpe in particular, have been asking to have access to a local Midwifery Group Practice service for several years.

“Expectant mothers like the MGP model of care as it provides them with the continuity of dealing with one person throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and after birth care journey.

“The MGP will complement existing care Darling Downs Health provides expectant mothers in Stanthorpe and Warwick and provides further opportunity for mothers to birth closer to home,” Dr Cowling said.

Sam Gale relocated to Warwick to raise his family four years ago and has been working as a Midwife at Warwick Hospital ever since. When the opportunity arose to become a Midwife with the new Southern Downs MGP service, he jumped at the chance.

“The MGP will extend our ability to provide additional care to women in our region and give us the opportunity to provide extra postnatal and antenatal care.

MGP Midwife Sam Gale

“We’re incredibly optimistic this service will be popular amongst the Warwick community. It’s excellent that expectant mothers now have access to a public MGP. It shows the Health Service continues to be focused on providing equitable access to care.

“I’m looking forward to the flexibility that comes with working in the MGP model of care, having the ability to practice more independently and provide women the care they truly want to the best of my ability,” Mr Gale said.

Sophie Walker will be part of the Southern Downs MGP team based in Stanthorpe, she said whilst she’s trained as both a Nurse and Midwife, her passion lies in midwifery and maternity care.

“I previously worked in a Midwifery Group Practice in another Health Service and thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Having a MGP in a rural community helps bridge the gap between care available in metropolitan areas compared to their regional counterparts. Rural women can be limited in how and where they can seek maternity care, this gives them more choices.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the MGP clients giving them a safe space to feel support through pregnancy, birth and postpartum,” Ms Walker said.

The Southern Downs Midwifery Group Practice is funded by the State Government’s $42 million rural and regional birthing services package.