NSW Ministerial Maternal and Perinatal CommitteeHistory of the Committee | Aims of the Committee | Objectives of the Committee
The NSW Maternal and Perinatal Committee is the advisory committee to the Minster for Health on maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in NSW. The Committee is continually working towards improving health outcomes for mothers and babies across NSW. The work undertaken by the Committee is supported by A Framework for Managing the Quality of Health Services in NSW.
History of the Committee
The NSW Ministerial Maternal and Perinatal Committee was formed in the 1930s and at that time the main focus was on maternal deaths. In 1969, the Committee's interests broadened and the terms of reference were extended to include perinatal mortality and morbidity, ie. stillbirths and deaths that occur within 28 days of birth.
Following is an outline of changes that have occurred since the inception of the Committee:
- 1939 - Special Committee to Investigate Maternal Morbidity
- 1966 - Maternal Mortality Committee
- 1970 - Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Committee
- 1975 - Maternal and Perinatal Committee
- Reviews of obstetric services in 1976 and 1983, and a Ministerial Taskforce 1987-89 Chaired by Prof Shearman
The role of the Committee has expanded to encompass maternity services development for mothers and babies, and to assist in the continued implementation of the NSW Framework for Maternity Services (2000).
Aims of the Committee
Today, the aims of the Committee are to:
- review maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in New South Wales;
- make recommendations for the prevention of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality; and
- advise the NSW Department of Health on matters relating to the health of mothers and newborn infants.
Objectives of the Committee
The objectives of the Committee are:
- In relation to maternal deaths occurring in NSW, to:
- classify these deaths as direct, indirect or incidental;
- examine the circumstances leading to the deaths in order to identify any factors which might have prevented them; and
- provide advice as appropriate to individual clinicians or groups of clinicians who had been involved in the care of the deceased, and/or the NSW Department of Health on matters arising from the consideration of maternal deaths that might improve maternity care or prevent morbidity or mortality.
- In relation to perinatal deaths occurring in NSW, to:
- review aggregate data on perinatal deaths and identify groups of perinatal deaths that, through detailed inquiry, may provide information for the development of policies to reduce perinatal morbidity and mortality;
- for these groups of deaths, examine the individual circumstances leading to death in order to identify any factors that might have prevented death; and
- make recommendations to the NSW Department of Health on matters arising from the consideration of perinatal deaths that might improve perinatal care or prevent morbidity or mortality.
- Review aggregate data on maternal and perinatal morbidity, and make policy recommendations for prevention of these morbidities.
- Provide expert advice on clinical policy issues relating to pregnancy care, labour and delivery, and perinatal health that may be brought to the Committee's attention by the NSW Department of Health, individual clinicians or their professional affiliations, or members of the Committee.
- Contribute expertise to the preparation of regular reports of aggregate data on maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.
- Provide clinical and epidemiological advice on the surveillance of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, and monitor the quality and relevance of the surveillance data.
The information obtained from these reviews assists in the development of policies and guidelines aimed at improving the quality of health of mothers and newborns in NSW (see policy directives and guidelines related to maternal and perinatal issues).
In addition, information from these reviews, the NSW Midwives Data Collection (MDC), the Neonatal Intensive Care Units' Data Collection (NICUS) and the NSW Patient Statistics Collection are published annually by NSW Health Department in The NSW Mothers and Babies Report.