Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 19 November 2015) . . Page.. 4253 ..
relationship. They work with women who have pre-existing mental health issues, as well as those whose mental health concerns emerge during that perinatal period.
The consultation service is working with other agencies, such as midwives, GPs, maternal and child health nurses and other mental health services. Referrals to the service are mostly through those individuals that I just mentioned. Routine and universal screening for perinatal depression of all women who use our maternity services is undertaken using the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale and the perinatal psychosocial assessment.
The government, both at the ACT level and federally, have contributed funding for the national parental depression initiative since 2008. While the commonwealth funding for this initiative has now regretfully ceased, the ACT continues to fund some projects in these areas. (Time expired.)
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, what services does QEII provide to mothers and babies, and with what support from the ACT government?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. QEII is one of those services where women experiencing perinatal depression and other mental health conditions are able to be cared for in a more intensive, supported environment.
The fantastic work that is done by the Canberra Mothercraft Society is something, I think, that all members in this place should commend. They have a long history and a proud history of providing support for mothers and infants in our city, dating back to as early as 1929.
The facility of the QEII hospital at Curtin is an excellent one. There is a variety of services for mothers and their babies, including those with complex lactation issues, unsettled babies, babies that are failing to thrive, mood disorders, parenting support and education. QEII is unique in Australia because it is integrated into the broader operations of ACT Health, and in the last financial year there were over 1,600 admissions to the service.
The government is providing additional support to expand QEII. I was delighted to be out there a month or so ago to see the new facilities being put in place. In the most recent budget, the government provided over $2.2 million to expand QEII. That is across a range of neonatal services, including an additional neonatal intensive care bed; $300,000 for the expansion of postnatal care community based options; and also $676,000 for expansion of services at QEII. There will be six beds in three new family suites at QEII as a result of this. That is going to help families, help mothers and their newborn kids, make that transition, which can often be very challenging following a birth, and help them with education with things like vaccination and other things like that as well. (Time expired.)
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.