Hiding in plain sight: Inconvenient facts for patient safety in non‐24/7 theatre on‐site staffed obstetric units

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The views expressed here are based on my professional experience as a consultant obstetrician, and previous role as clinical head of service for a small (<1800 births/year) obstetric unit in Perth metro. The obstetric unit in which I work has
no 24/7 on-site staffed theatre capacity, no high dependency unit, and at night is staffed by a resident medical officer and junior obstetric registrar, with a consultant on-call within 30 min travel time. Based on my review of the literature on obstetric services nationally and various state guidelines (see Sources section), other Australian metro- located obstetric services appear to have similar challenges, but in this paper I focus on the health service models and patient safety systems that I am most familiar with (Perth metro) and ask why obstetric services in this, and by inference, other areas of the country which have similar high population density, would continue to have these staffing/service profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-611
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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