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Dr Karen Yates, a Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery at James Cook University in Cairns, is seeking information from women who have given birth in the last six months in the two far northern Hospital and Health Services – Cairns and Hinterland, and Cape and Torres.

“I know anyone who has given birth in the last few months already has a lot on their plate, but I’m aiming to collect women’s fairly fresh recollections of their maternity experience,” Dr Yates said.

“My questions are about both practical and personal issues, ranging from any issues they might have had in getting access to their local public hospital, through to acceptability – did the service suit them and meet their needs, in a personal, practical and cultural sense?”

In 2018 the two Hospital and Health Services delivered 3,109 babies, with local totals ranging from 2320 at Cairns Hospital to just five in Yarrabah Hospital.

“Between them these two Hospital and Health Services cover a relatively small but highly diverse population, spread across a huge geographical area,” Dr Yates said.

“This information will help our hospitals improve their understanding of what’s needed to best support the health of women and babies across the Far North.”

Dr Yates and her colleagues have developed a survey that takes around ten minutes to complete online.

“We’ve designed the survey so that the Hospital and Health Services can repeat it over time, to gain a consistent measure of what’s working well, and what might need some attention.”

The survey can be filled in online at

For further information, please contact Dr Karen Yates on While the experiences of local women will be shared with the hospital services, no participants will be identified.