Journal article

Enhancing general practice referrals for women of refugee background to maternity care

Dannielle Vanpraag, Wendy Dawson, Bianca Bell, Elisha Riggs, Jo Szwarc, Stephanie Brown, John Furler, Sue Casey, Glyn Teale, Jane Yelland



This paper presents the findings from a quality improvement project implemented by a maternity hospital located in a region of high refugee settlement. The project was designed to improve the completeness of general practice referral information to enable triage to maternity care that would best meet the needs of women of refugee background. Referral information included four data items - country of birth, year of arrival in Australia, language spoken and interpreter required - used in combination to provide a proxy measure of refugee background. A communication strategy and professional development activity engaged general practitioners (GPs) in the rationale for collecting the four data it..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank Tina Pettigrew for the significant contribution to the partnership, project conception, the working group and championing the initiative at Western Health. Western Health staff shared their wisdom, enthusiasm and committed time to the project and we thank Catherine Harrington who patiently undertook the audits; Christine Kerr for her active role in the working group and work with GPs; Jenny Gore for her advice on referral and triage processes; Jo Silva for involvement with the GP education sessions. The project was identified as a priority for the Bridging the Gap Partnership Program in the Western region of Melbourne, and we thank all members of the partnership for co-designing and trying out new ways to improve health care for families of refugee background. Bridging the Gap is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC 1056799). The partner organisations have contributed substantial in-kind resources. We acknowledge the support of the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. Stephanie Brown is supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2011-15) and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2016-20); John Furler is supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2011-15) and a NHMRC Translating Research into Practice Fellowship (2017-18); Jane Yelland is supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2014-17).