|Title:||Special Referral to Child health Services|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0345/11|
|Date of issue:||Wednesday, 21 September 2011|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||OD outlines the process for informing child health services of any known newborn and/or family risk factors in the antenatal or postnatal period. Included is the referral form to be utilised by services requiring a paper based process.|
|Applicable to:||Maternity and neonatal service providers|
|Period of effect:||from 3 September 2010 to 3 September 2015|
|Review date:||3 September 2015|
|Authorised by:||Dr D J Russell-Weisz, A/Director General, Department of Health WA, 20-Sep-2011|
|Print version:||View print version|
Special Referral to Child health Services
Ensuring transition of care between maternity services and child health services is important in improving health outcomes for children and providing support to new parents. Current systems within WA Health do not provide timely transfer of adequate information regarding maternal and newborn risk factors to enable child health services to prioritise care for families with identified needs. As future ICT systems are implemented across the system, the transfer of information to all clinicians with responsibility for ongoing care will be an integral component.
In the interim a new system has been established to ensure there is effective transfer of information from the maternity hospital to child health services for families with known newborn or family risk factors identified in the antenatal or postnatal period. A referral form titled “Special Referral Form to Child Health Services” (attached) has been developed and both metropolitan and country child health services have developed processes which include centralised receipt points for faxed referrals
This process complements the existing Stork maternity database which produces a special child health referral form and has recently been enhanced to provide automated email to centralised e-mail accounts in child health services. Current Stork Database scope is limited to referrals for the birth episode. Thus patients transferred following birth or readmitted require a paper based referral system, as do maternity services currently not utilising Stork.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF HEALTH STAFF
This document outlines the roles and responsibilities for staff working across maternity and child health services. This document is to be read in conjunction with the Guidelines for Protecting Children 2009 which can be located at:
and Sharing Information for Continuity of Health Care Policy 2008 which is located at
It is important that maternity staff (midwifes, doctors, allied health professionals), neonatal intensive care staff and child health staff (child health nurses, Aboriginal health workers) work together, complement each other and ensure a continuum of care across this transition period for families with newborns.
Maternity and Neonatal Staff
The Special Referral Form to Child Health Services can be completed at anytime in the antenatal or postnatal period when there are identified newborn and/or family risk factors however it is the responsibility of the discharging maternity/neonatal unit to ensure that the form has been completed. The referral form contains a checklist of evidence based criteria for referral. Information in the form complements clinical judgment and expertise in assessing if the mother/family or newborn has identified health needs and would benefit from early ongoing support from child health services.
Maternity Services utilizing STORK
Upon completion of the form the STORK system provides an automated email to centralised email accounts in child health services across the state.
Maternity Services NOT utilizing STORK
On completion of the form, maternity staff should:
Child Health Staff (Administration staff, Child Health Nurse)
Upon receipt of the Special Referral Form by Child Health Services, administration staff are responsible for ascertaining which child health centre the form should be faxed/emailed to based on the demographic details provided and forward the form to the appropriate service. A hard copy of the form should be kept in a confidential file for monitoring purposes only.Upon receipt of the form, the child health nurse should consider the identified risk factors and prioritise contact with the family to ascertain their needs. Utilising the information provided and professional clinical judgment develop a management plan which may include ongoing support and/or referral to specialised staff.
Dr D J Russell-Weisz
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2011 at 3:55pm