St George and Sutherland - ANSC newsletter update

9 April 2019 

South Asian Origin Women (SAOM)

There is observational data from both Australia and the United Kingdom which suggests that the rate of late pregnancy stillbirth is increased in women of South Asian background.

South Asian background includes women who are born in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives. It does not include women with a background from other Asian regions such as East Asia or South-East Asia (Japan, China etc.)

The stillbirth rate overall for women of South Asian background is 3.55 per 1000 (cf 1.48 per 1000 for Caucasian women). The stillbirth risk at 39 weeks for South Asian women is equivalent to the stillbirth risk for Caucasian women at 41 weeks (0.94 per 1000 and 1 per 1000 respectively). The odds ratio for stillbirth at 39 weeks for South Asian compared to Australian women is 2.17. We have noted a small cluster of stillbirths amongst women of South Asian background at St George. (Sept 2017)

In light of the data, it seems logical to offer fetal monitoring for south Asian women and intervention from 40 weeks gestation.

We have therefore instituted:
• A screening ultrasound in the late third trimester (around 36 weeks), and manage abnormal findings accordingly
• Offer an induction of labour at 40 weeks gestation
• If induction of labour declined, then another ultrasound at 40 weeks is arranged to assess growth, AFI and Dopplers, and manage accordingly, including discussion with a consultant

Boostrix vaccinations

The antenatal clinics at St George and Sutherland Hospitals can vaccinate women only with Boostrix.
Please record any vaccinations given on the yellow Antenatal Healthcare Card. 

Antenatal booking wait time

Currently there has been a significant increase in antenatal bookings at St George and Sutherland Hospitals. With increased apartment development in the area, this situation is likely to continue.
The current wait time for the 1st antenatal visit at the hospital is 8-9weeks. Pregnant women planning to deliver at St George or Sutherland Hospitals must live in the SESLHD Referral Postcodes i.e. Georges River Council and Rockdale area.

It is advised that GPs ask the pregnant woman to phone or book online at the hospital as soon as they have confirmed their pregnancy. The optimal gestation for booking in is around 14weeks gestation.

St George and Sutherland Hospitals now have an online ‘Antenatal Appointment Form’ for women to book for their pregnancy.

The current Centralised Booking System is still available on 9113 2162 or 13 14 50 for interpreter support.This is a queuing telephone system so wait times may apply.

Have your say - Cervical screening during the antenatal and postnatal periods

You are invited to complete an online survey for a study from CESPHN, SESLHD and Cancer Institute NSW that aims to increase rates of participation in cervical screening of never screened and under screened women from priority populations during the antenatal and postnatal periods.

Click here to complete the survey or click here for more information. 

Bulk billing on psychological therapy/counselling now available at Learning Links, Peakhurst

Learning Links is now offering bulk billed psychological therapy for weekday appointments between 9.30am-2.30pm that have been referred by a GP under the Mental Health Care Plan. Patients can see a qualified psychologist for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.

Learning Links psychologists work with children and families using evidence-based therapies to address concerns such as:

  • Anxiety, depression and low self-esteem
  • Poor social skills
  • AD/HD and difficulties making transitions
  • Dealing with family separation and divorce

Learning Links uses a number of evidence-based therapies including cognitive behaviour therapy, brief solutions and play therapy to help build resilience and confidence. They also offer services to parents who may require support with their child.

Call 8525 8222 to make a booking or for further information or enquire here.

NSW Health factsheets 

Zika Virus

NSW Government information regarding the Zika Virus includes:

  • A list of affected countries
  • Zika virus fact sheet
  • Summary table of recommendations regarding zika virus prevention for all travellers
  • Recommendations for pregnant women, screening and management

What we know

Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby.

This can cause severe birth defects, in particular, a condition called microcephaly (small head or brain). Microcephaly is just one of the signs and symptoms of congenital Zika virus syndrome (CZVS) that can be present at birth or appear later in infancy such as seizures (fits), irritability, swallowing problems, hearing and sight abnormalities.

Based on current evidence, the risk of birth defects appears to relate to all stages or trimesters of pregnancy. Zika spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus are active during the day, including indoors and bite around the ankles.

You can also get Zika from sex without a condom with someone who has Zika, even if that person does not have symptoms.

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. There is no medicine to treat Zika. Pregnant women should avoid infection 


Factsheet and guidelines updated 11 February 2019

Do you provide antenatal shared care to women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds? If so, please consider becoming a GP Advisor for the ANSC Advisory Committee.

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN and St George and Sutherland Hospitals work collaboratively to deliver the SGS GP Antenatal Shared Care Program.  This program promotes quality, general practice-based shared care for pregnant women residing in South Eastern Sydney.

GPs who are affiliated with the SGS GP ANSC Program are invited to submit an expression of interest to join the SGS ANSC Program Advisory Committee. In particular, GPs who see women from one of the culturally and linguistically diverse communities of our region are encouraged to attend, to help influence and improve services for these women.

Click see the following documents for more information:

  pdf EOI information (202 KB)

  pdf Application form (345 KB)

EIS Representation Policy