Media releases

December 12, 2006

Unique support now available to new parents

Ask any parents and they will tell you: pregnancy is tough. Nausea, sleep deprivation, financial stress, all hurdles that would be parents must cope with on their journey. Now imagine that you have been through it all before, only to lose the child during or after the birth.

Frances Perry House will today launch a new initiative, thanks to the backing of Medibank Private, to provide counselling and support to pregnant women and couples - or those contemplating pregnancy - who have previously suffered the death of a baby.

The program is unique in that it offers a combination of expert midwifery knowledge and professional grief and loss counselling.

Frances Perry House has been awarded $26,000, to implement the program, through the Medibank Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool, which was set up by the health fund to support private hospitals implementing new healthcare initiatives.

Frances Perry House CEO, Mark Page, said the grant would be used in a new program that would aim to assist parents who are planning or experiencing a pregnancy following the loss of an earlier baby.

"The program is an opportunity for parents to discuss their fears and anxieties with an accredited grief and loss counsellor teamed with expert midwifery education. And we are proud to add that it will also enhance the skills of our midwifery staff to deal with people in such a difficult situation and their own feelings of grief and loss," he said.

At a presentation ceremony held at the hospital today, Medibank praised Frances Perry House's commitment to enhancing the standards of support following the loss of a baby and improving the psychological and physical health outcomes for these parents using the unique combination of Obstetrician and midwife/counsellor care.

Medibank Private Hospital Manager, Russell Bateman, said, "Medibank is dedicated to providing the best outcomes for our members and these incentive dollars allow us to work with private hospitals in providing new and innovative healthcare programs for our members."

"We are assisting hospitals to be innovative in providing new and quality healthcare initiatives such as this program at Frances Perry - we are asking them to continuously lift the bar on current standards.

"It's simple really - we want the best health outcomes for our members, we asked hospitals how they could do this, they told us and we are helping them make it a reality," he said.


FACTS ABOUT THE MEDIBANK PRIVATE SAFETY AND CLINICAL IMPROVEMENT INCENTIVE POOL:

� Pool of over $900,000.
� 34 hospitals across Australia were successful in their application
� Total value of approved proposals is $907,488
� Major areas of innovation of applications included:
 Falls prevention and management
 Improving management of medication
 Discharge and re-admission planning
 Improving patient communication and education
� A pool of $1 million will be available for distribution in 2007.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
T. (03) 8622 5181 or 0411 659 060
E: libby_woolnough@medibank.com.au


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