ATSICHS Brisbane Jimbelunga IYHS

New hub improving outcomes for Indigenous mums and their bubs

The Minister for Health, Hon Cameron Dick, hosted a ceremony to mark the opening of the Salisbury Mums & Bubs Hub – a community hub offering services to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their babies.

The Hub was established with the help of $3 million funding provided by the Queensland Government.

The Hub houses the Birthing in Our Community (BiOC) program, a joint initiative between IUIH, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Services (ATSICHS) Brisbane and Mater Mothers’ Hospital, which directly addresses the gap in maternity and birthing outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in South East Queensland.

BiOC provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are booked to birth at Brisbane’s Mater Mothers’ Hospital with a culturally appropriate pregnancy care model that gives them access to their own midwife and family support worker for the duration of their pregnancy and at their birth.

Evaluation has shown that program participants experience significantly improved outcomes relating to the care they access throughout their pregnancy, baby’s birthweight, and rates of premature birth, breastfeeding and smoking.

The opening of the Salisbury Hub has facilitated a significant expansion of BiOC, doubling the number of women who are able to access the program.

As well as providing a base for the BiOC program, the Hub provides women and their babies with access to services including a visiting paediatrician, speech therapy, an ENT specialist, a women’s health GP and psychological services.

Attending the opening today, Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson said that the Hub’s establishment will significantly improve the wellbeing of mothers and their children in South East Queensland,

“Evaluation of this unique model of pregnancy care has shown that women able to access the program engage with health services earlier in their pregnancy and more often. They are also less likely to smoke during their pregnancy and are more likely to deliver their bub at the right gestation and at a healthy weight,” he said.

“Having the resources to establish this Hub has been integral to our ability to double the number of women able to access this program each year – and it means that we can link more women in with the IUIH Model of Care, a wrap-around service providing accessible and efficient primary health care to our community in South East Queensland.”

CEO of ATSICHS Brisbane – a BiOC partner – Jody Currie, said that the services offered from the Hub give women accessible care during their pregnancy.

“Pregnancy is not a medical condition – it’s a normal part of life. So the great thing about the Birthing in Our Community model offered out of this Hub is that it allows women to feel really comfortable accessing services from midwives and Aboriginal health workers that they know and trust. And we know that if they are comfortable accessing these services they will access them earlier and more often – and that means much better outcomes for both mum and bub.”