Frequently Asked Questions
The City of Greater Bendigo’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service is a free service available to all parents and carers with children from birth to school age.
The City’s MCH centres offer:
- Child growth and development assessments
- Referrals to other health agencies
- Health and early parenting information
- Links to community resources
- New parents’ groups
Our MCH Nurses are all registered nurses with qualifications in Midwifery and Maternal and Child Health.
Parents and carers can get information, guidance and support on breastfeeding, child health and development, maternal health, parent-child relationships, home and care safety for infants, child accident and injury prevention, immunisation, nutrition and family planning.
When your baby is born the City of Greater Bendigo will be notified by the hospital you attended that you have had your baby.
The City will then contact you by phone to arrange your first four appointments. The first appointment always takes place in your own home so we will come to you.
The City will also email you all the information you need to know about the City’s MCH service and follow up appointments.
All appointments following the home visit will be offered at your nearest MCH centre. Telehealth / video appointments are planned for the future and you will be notified when this service becomes available.
While the City will initially allocate you to the closest centre to where you live, you can choose to make an appointment at your preferred centre.
Over the past few years the City has been working to improve MCH centre facilities throughout Greater Bendigo for both clients and staff.
This not only provides a better experience for our clients but is also important for the health and safety of our MCH nurses as several of the former centres were single nurse centres.
The changes have allowed the City to establish sites that have improved facilities and have more than one nurse present at any time to keep everyone safe and provide a collaborative work space.
The City can offer in-home visits/consultations to eligible clients who live in Elmore and who cannot travel to attend appointments at either the Huntly or Epsom MCH centres.
It is important to note that the MCH service has not been withdrawn from Elmore but it has been changed.
The Elmore MCH Centre was a single nurse centre that operated from Elmore Community Health for over 20 years. During this time the service offered consultations one day per fortnight dependent on demand.
During the COVID19 lockdown the City closed the Elmore MCH centre at the request of Bendigo Community Health Service to maintain client and staff safety.
The Elmore region has averaged 10 new births a year over the last 6-year period. The numbers of families with young children currently in Elmore makes it difficult for the City fund having two nurses on-site regularly.
All existing Elmore clients were informed of the changes and in recognition that some families can’t drive or have limited access to transport the City is offering a home visiting service or alternately access to services located at Huntly or Epsom MCH centres.
The City does not prioritise families based on where they live. All families have equitable access to services.
Our contact number is 03 4408 6590 and we are open from 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
If you have any questions or concerns and need to talk to a MCH nurse urgently, you should call the MCH 24 Hour Hotline on 13 22 29. This is a free call.
This is advisable as the City’s MCH nurses are usually in consultations.
The MCH Hotline has MCH nurses available 24 hours a day and they can spend as much time on the phone with you as you need. However, if the nurse on the hotline feels that you need to be seen or that you need to talk directly with your own MCH nurse, then they will contact the City for this to be arranged.
The MCH App is available for free download. The App has all the information relevant to your child’s development, immunisations and links to other services. Parents/carers can set up a profile for their baby and track their development.
The MCH Nurse will discuss the MCH App at your home visit.
For more information about the Maternal and Child Health Service please contact the Early Years Team on 03 4408 6590.