Consumer Representation

 Consumer Representation


I. Qld Health – Maternity Services reform

A QLD Health website that gives a quick overview of what the QLD Government has been doing since the independent review of maternity services in 2004 kicked off the current reform process. Also provides useful links to other parts of QLD Health.

To access document, click here.

II. Department of Health and Ageing – Maternity Services Reform

In 2007, the Federal Government announced a review of maternity services across Australia. Since then they have committed money to the ‘maternity services reform package’ that includes access to the Medical Benefits Schedule (Medicare) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule for midwives. This webpage gives you lots of information about what’s going on and what it means for consumers.

To access document, click here.

III. National Maternity Services Plan

This plan was developed by the Australian Health Ministers Conference (made up of all of the state, territory and federal health ministers) in 2011. It’s an important part of the Federal Government’s maternity reform package that gave Medicare to Midwives for the first time.

Sets out a five year vision for maternity care in Australia (including breaking vision into early, middle and later components).

Establishes a range of priorities (although not measurable targets with timelines):

Access: to information; range of models of care; for women in rural and remote areas.Service delivery: high quality, evidence-based maternity care; culturally competent care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women; services for women who have medical, socio-economic or other risk factors.Workforce: woman-centred care within a wellness paradigm; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce; rural and remote workforce; culture of interdisciplinary collaboration.Infrastructure: Safety and quality system; service planning, design and implementation is woman-centred

To access document, click here.

IV. National Guidance on Collaborative Maternity Care

Developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2010 as part of the national maternity reform process. It is useful for consumer representatives because it establishes definitions of key terms: collaboration, informed choice, informed consent, informed refusal and woman-centred care. It also establishes 9 principles of collaborative maternity care.

To access document, click here.

V. More key maternity care documents

A useful list of more key maternity documents and direct links to them including:

Statewide breastfeeding policyNational breastfeeding strategyNational perinatal depression initiative

To access document, click here.

VI. QLD Government’s Continuity of Carer target by 2013

Letter from Deputy Premier and Minister for Health to Maternity Coalition (PDF)

In 2010, Deputy Premier and Minister for Health wrote to Maternity Coalition to commit to targets for Continuity of Carer. “…by the end of 2013, 10 percent of all births in Queensland Health public hospitals will occur in a continuity of carer model.’ Continuity of carer is discussed in the letter as being ‘where a woman will see the same midwife or small group of midwives during her pregnancy, at birth, and post-natally…’ This letter clearly articulates what the QLD Government has signed up to and therefore is incredibly useful for consumer representatives to know about.

To access document, click here.

VII. Charter of Health Consumer Rights

To access document, click here.

Consumer Health Forum of Australia’s charter of rights for consumers.

VIII. Maternity Consumers Representative Training Program

A shortened presentation of the training program aimed at supporting consumers to be actively involved in policy, service planning and evaluation in a decision-making role about maternity services in Queensland.

IX. Strategies for consumer reps

Learn more about effective strategies you could use as a consumer representative including how to use stories, choose battles, agree and disagree, ask questions and know your resource and limitation

For more resources on Consumer Representation go to