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New Zealand national maternity early warning system (MEWS) preparation and implementation guide

19th November, 2021

The health of pregnant and recently pregnant women can deteriorate for many reasons. At times, the failure to recognise signs of deterioration, escalate care and respond appropriately can cause preventable deterioration. We encourage maternity services and the wider hospital to establish a system for managing the care of pregnant, and recently pregnant (up to and including 42 days later), women who deteriorate while receiving in-hospital care.

This guide helps project leads and teams prepare for and implement a nationally consistent maternity early warning system (MEWS). It sets out the aim of the national MEWS programme, components to implement, available support, and recommended activities during the prepare, implement and sustain periods.

Specific tools and guidance have been developed to help you prepare for and implement the clinical, local measurement, and governance components of the MEWS. These are available to download below.

If you have any queries about these resources, please email

Last updated: 19th November, 2021