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Changes to maternal morbidity collection and reporting in New Zealand

Perinatal & Maternal Mortality Review Committee
06 January 2020

The Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC) will be providing direct oversight of the maternal morbidity collection and reporting, retrospective from 1 July 2019.

The previous Maternal Morbidity Working Group (MMWG) received funding for three years to oversee and provide advice on maternal morbidity review, which ended on 30 June 2019.

Mr John Tait, chair of the committee, says both groups strongly believe this valuable work should continue.

‘The committee wants to maintain a sustainable maternal morbidity review function that benefits all mothers and babies in New Zealand.

‘We decided the best way to enhance its impact in the sector and within existing budgets is to have direct oversight of the maternal morbidity work,’ he says.

Mr Tait says the committee will invest time and resources into analysing morbidity data and encourage morbidity review at the DHB level using the 2019 maternal morbidity review toolkit.

‘This important work will not just be about analysing data. A more in-depth review of focus areas will aim to address systemic factors that contribute to illness severity.

‘Much of this is intertwined with work that the PMMRC and Maternal Mortality Review Working Group (MMRWG) already do.’

The maternal morbidity notifications have been redirected to the PMMRC secretariat who are now managing the maternal morbidity database.

‘On behalf of the PMMRC, I congratulate the members of the MMWG for their dedication over the last three years to improving outcomes for mothers in Aotearoa New Zealand,’ he says.

The PMMRC plans to include maternal morbidity findings in its annual report in 2020. It also plans present lessons learned at its national conference, which will likely be held in November 2020 in Wellington.

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