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Midwife recognised for services to perinatal and maternal health

Perinatal & Maternal Mortality Review Committee
04 June 2020

The Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC) congratulates Vicki Masson on her appointment as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020, for services to perinatal and maternal health.

An experienced midwife with expertise in high-risk pregnancies, Vicki Masson was the national coordinator of the PMMRC from 2006–19.

The PMMRC is an independent committee that reviews deaths of mothers and babies in Aotearoa New Zealand and advises the Health Quality & Safety Commission on how to reduce those deaths. It also reviews cases of neonatal encephalopathy, which can be caused by lack of oxygen in babies during pregnancy or birth.

Mr John Tait, chair of the PMMRC, says Vicki’s hard work has undoubtedly improved services and outcomes for mothers and babies in Aotearoa New Zealand.

‘Vicki played a key role in many of the PMMRC’s successes, including development and establishment of a system to review the deaths of babies and mothers in New Zealand, which is still in use today.’

During her time working with the PMMRC, Vicki was a part of many other successful projects, including:

  • establishment of the local coordinators network, including midwifery and medical staff from all district health boards (DHBs) in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • collaboration with the local coordinators for over 12 years
  • coordination of the Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group, established in 2008
  • coordination of the Maternal Mortality Review Working Group, established in 2006
  • work with DHBs to collect information on mortality and neonatal encephalopathy to inform investigations and service improvements
  • presentations on behalf of the PMMRC about how to undertake a review of adverse events in maternity services.
  • Involvement in multiple publications aimed at improving outcomes for mothers and babies in Aotearoa New Zealand.

‘This accolade is well deserved,’ said John Tait, ‘and we thank Vicki for all of her hard work for the PMMRC and perinatal and maternal health services in Aotearoa New Zealand.’

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