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Update from the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee

Perinatal & Maternal Mortality Review Committee Mortality Review Committees
05 July 2023

This is an update from the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (the PMMRC) about changes occurring following the review of the national mortality review function (NMRF). It also includes information about the 16th perinatal and maternal mortality report.

Changes to perinatal and maternal mortality review

From November 2022, Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission has been implementing changes to the national mortality review function (NMRF). The reformed NMRF will be in place from 1 July 2023.

On 1 July 2023, formal statutory powers under Schedule 5 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 will be transferred to the new, single National Mortality Review Committee.

Existing mortality review committee members have been invited to continue as subject matter experts for their existing workstream. This means current members of the PMMRC have been invited to be subject matter experts for the specialist area of perinatal and maternal mortality review.

The subject matter experts for perinatal and maternal mortality review will support the National Mortality Review Committee and the NMR Management Group to provide advice and monitor the progress of the perinatal and maternity mortality components of the 2023/24 work plan.

The first year of operation in 2023/24 under the reformed NMRF structure will see further refinements, including exploring new areas of mortality review, introducing new ways to disseminate findings and recommendations, and further deepening relationships with key health and social system entities.

You can read more about the changes to a single National Mortality Review Committee here.

Working groups

Current working groups will not automatically transfer over to the perinatal and maternal workstream, and from 1 July, there will no longer be a Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group or a Maternal Mortality Review Working Group.

Information on neonatal encephalopathy will continue to be collected and may be used to support both local and national improvement. If neonatal encephalopathy is an area for mortality review at a later date, subject matter experts will be pulled together for this work.

National maternal mortality review and classification falls within the 2023/24 workstream. Although there will no longer be a standing working group, national maternal mortality review will continue. Members of the current Maternal Mortality Review Working Group will be invited to participate in these reviews, as required.

Information on maternal morbidity stopped being collected in 2021; again, if maternal morbidity is determined to be an area for review at a later date subject matter experts will be asked to contribute.

Perinatal and maternal mortality review 2023/24 workstream

The perinatal and maternal mortality review workstream for 2023/24 includes producing a focused 16th report on perinatal and maternal mortality and continued engagement with local and national groups to ensure perinatal and maternal mortality review and the implementation of existing recommendations continue.  

The estimated delivery of a 16th report is late June 2024.