19 December 2008

Mums and bubs will find a new resource at UQ in 2009, after the Queensland Government chose UQ researchers to lead an important new centre of excellence.

Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson today (December 20) announced UQ as the winner of a tender for the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies, a significant component of Queensland’s maternity reform agenda.

“I am pleased to announce The University of Queensland is the successful tenderer, with the centre due to open next year,” Mr Robertson said.

“The Queensland Centre for mothers and babies will provide up-to-date information and resources for mothers, babies and their care givers.

“The centre will also advise the government on how to improve maternity services and care choices across the state.

“It will have a commitment to research to ensure Queensland mothers and babies have the best start in life.”

The establishment of an independent centre for mothers and babies was a major recommendation of the ‘Re-Birthing’ report into maternity services in Queensland.

“The State government supported this recommendation and today’s announcement shows we are well on our way to delivering this centre of excellence,” the Minister said.

Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield said it recognised the great power of social science research to assist families and communities in very practical ways.

He congratulated the research team, led by Head of School of Psychology, Professor Christina Lee.

Professor Lee said the centre will improve maternity care through a consumer-focused emphasis on optimal choices, sharing of evidence-based information, and continuity of care

“It is critical to promote mutual understanding, respect and trust between and among care providers, consumers and other stakeholders in maternity care,” she said.

“We want to ensure that all women can access the best possible pregnancy, birth and postnatal care and support according to their needs and preferences.”

Mr Robertson said Queensland Health has carried out significant reforms over the last 3 years to improve the quality and safety of maternity services, and has implemented strategies to build the clinical workforce.

“The centre will assist in taking this to the next stage by providing more information and resources to mothers and their families and working with Queensland Health to identify best-practice changes.”

The Queensland Government has allocated $7 million over four years for the centre.

Researchers on the UQ team – all from the School of Psychology – are Professor Lee, Dr Yvette Miller, Ms Rachel Thompson, Professor Cindy Gallois and Dr Bernadette Watson.

Inquiries about the new centre can be directed to: qcmb@uq.edu.au
Media contact: UQ: Fiona Kennedy 3365 1384 / 0413 380 012
Minister’s office: Catherine Goldie 3234 1190