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Maternity annual report highlights better consumer engagement

Women's Health Waikato DHB

Voice of women who have used Waikato maternity services is being heard more clearly in a range of ways, the latest being the appointment of three Waikato women as consumer representatives on Waikato DHB’s Maternity Quality and Safety Programme Board.

Milly Emery, Waikato maternity consumer representative, with baby Lila.

Milly Emery, Waikato maternity consumer representative, with baby Lila.

One of those representatives is 23 year old Milly Emery of Hamilton whose first baby was born at Waikato Hospital. (See story here)

Other initiatives over the past few years include surveys, reviewing complaints, comments and compliments, feedback cards on the wards, consumer feedback sessions at birthing centres, and reporting to community health forums.

Waikato DHB’s Maternity Annual Report 2015 has just been released, and it lists consumer engagement as one of its key quality improvements, with action taken at governance, service, community and individual levels to “hear and learn” from women who use Waikato maternity services.

Those services include midwives, community birthing centres, clinics, and hospital birthing facilities.

The Maternity Annual Report provides in-depth accountability for actions on a wide range of issues and improvements, and is a requirement of the national Maternity Quality and Safety Programme (MQSP) contract from the Ministry of Health.

The report gives an overview of maternity services, outlines quality and safety improvements in the year, and describes planned improvements for the 2015/16 year.

The top 10 quality and safety improvement areas for this year are:

  1. Induction of labour
  2. Instrumental delivery
  3. Perineal care
  4. General anaesthesia and caesarean section
  5. Neonatal encephalopathy
  6. Premature births
  7. Early pregnancy care pathway
  8. Gestational diabetes
  9. Healthy weight gain in pregnancy
  10. Maternal smoking

Di Peers, chair of the Waikato Maternity Quality and Safety Programme Board, says that a highlight from the year was learning from the experience of two local women who became very unwell with influenza during their maternity journey in 2014. “This motivated us to promote active change which has been adopted by the midwifery lead maternity carers and hospital maternity services.” (Link to Michaela’s story and Waikato Times article.)

The report also covers the work of the Midland Maternity Action Group which focuses on collaborative actions across the five district health boards in the Midland health region – Waikato, Tairawhiti, Lakes, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.

Chair of the Midland group, Corli Roodt, says an excellent example of that work is the development of the Midland Maternity Transfer and Repatriation Standards which ensure a consistent system across the region and beyond.

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