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Baby bump: Qld hospital loses training status over maternity concerns


Mackay Base Hospital’s accreditation to train specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists has been suspended ahead of a clinical probe at the central Queensland facility.

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At least one doctor has already been suspended at the hospital ahead of an independent review of complaints from women about complications from caesareans and allegations of patient harm.

Mackay Hospital and Health Services chief executive Lisa Davies Jones commissioned the investigation after patient advocate Beryl Crosby contacted her with concerns earlier this month.

Ms Davies Jones said the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has suspended the hospital’s accreditation to train obstetricians and gynaecologists.

“Our accreditation with RANZCOG to train registrars has been suspended and we are working to meet the requirements for re-accreditation,” she told AAP in a statement on Wednesday.

“I am confident we will meet their requirements.”

A special complaints hotline and email service set up by the Mackay HHS and staffed by a senior midwife has already received 58 contacts from women.

The HHS chief executive said there had been a “broad range of feedback” and not all related to obstetrics and gynaecology services.

“It’s important any woman is heard and supported,” Ms Davies Jones said.

“It will be the job of the reviewers to look at this feedback and determine the next steps forward. The phone line continues to be answered by a senior, experienced midwife.

“We have arranged for another two senior and experienced midwives to be available to provide additional support as required to ensure the sustainability of the phone line.”

Meanwhile, senior Sunshine Coast University Hospital experts Professor Edward Weaver and Dr Greg Duncombe have been appointed to lead the review which will start the first week of November.

Ms Davies Jones said both are independent of Mackay HHS and “extremely well credentialed” in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.

The terms of reference for the clinical are still yet to be set.

The review comes amid another probe into alleged malpractice at Caboolture Hospital launched last month.

That inquiry, headed by eminent South Australian surgeon James Sweeney, was due to finish on October 11 but will now conclude on October 25.

The review was ordered after the opposition LNP aired claims of preventable deaths, surgical negligence, and a culture of bullying at the hospital north of Brisbane.

Metro North Health chair Jim McGowan said the inquiry had already interviewed a number of patients and staff.

Since August 31, there have been 93 calls to a hotline for people to report their care and treatment at Caboolture Hospital.

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