Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group – Terms of reference

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1. Purpose

The purpose of the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group is to provide strategic advice and guidance to the Ministry of Health and the sector to ensure a sustainable and supported midwifery workforce now and in the future.

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group will provide strategic advice to develop and implement the priorities as agreed by the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group and Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ).

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group is a partnership approach between HWNZ and representatives from the midwifery profession, midwifery education sector and the wider health workforce.

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group will be led by the following guiding principles.

  • The maintenance of a highly qualified mature workforce
  • The delivery of specialised pregnancy and childbirth care
  • The delivery of integrated, individual and personal services
  • The delivery of outcomes better than many countries
  • Midwives are safe
  • Women are happy with the service
  • A cost effective comparison that meets sector needs.

2. Background

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group is part of HWNZ’s strategic approach to provide leadership and engage with health professionals to support the future health system.

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group replaces the Midwifery Expert Advisory Group (MEAG). The MEAG was originally established under the Clinical Training Agency and then transferred to HWNZ to provide advice on midwifery workforce issues, clinical training and education.

MEAG membership built on the unique and close relationships held by Midwifery stakeholders (New Zealand College of Midwives, Midwifery Council of New Zealand and midwifery education providers).

3. Function

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group will visibly champion actions to meet the needs of the midwifery workforce, work collaboratively with the wider health sector and provide expert and objective advice to HWNZ on:

  • the workforce planning for future midwifery service provision
  • investment planning that supports workforce needs
  • the way in which Regional Workforce Development Hubs can support the achievement of the strategic goals for the midwifery workforce
  • using workforce and population data to determine the need for educating midwives at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels
  • identifying opportunities to support the distribution of the workforce geographically and between core and Lead Maternity Carer midwives
  • identifying opportunities to install trust and confidence in the midwifery workforce and midwifery practice by promulgating the evidence in relation to safety and the success of maternity services
  • how to make the best use of the available workforce including:
    • how midwives can be best supported to undertake and complete post registration education to ensure there is a fit-for-purpose workforce that meets sector needs
    • a cost effective comparison with other methods of maternity service provision
    • the most effective and efficient way to allocate postgraduate education funding to achieve strategic outcomes
    • support workforce development by identifying gaps that exist in current postgraduate education programme provision
    • supporting midwives on entry to practice through the Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme.

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group will lead the development of a midwifery workplan over a two to three year timeframe. Working groups may be established to progress defined programmes of work and representatives from the wider health workforce invited as appropriate.

4. Membership

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group will include members who can contribute to develop a strategic approach to ensuring a sustainable midwifery workforce now and in the future.

The following organisations are represented:

  • New Zealand College of Midwives (2)
  • Midwifery Council of New Zealand (2)
  • Midwifery undergraduate and postgraduate education providers (2)
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (1)
  • District Health Boards - Midwifery Leaders Group (2)
  • Ngā Maia Māori Midwives Aotearoa representative (1)
  • New Zealand College of Midwives /Māori midwife representative (1)
  • Consumer (2)

The Ministry of Health’s Principal Advisor Maternity (1) is an ex-officio member. HWNZ has two representatives in attendance and will provide secretariat support. The Chair as requested by the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group.
is a HWNZ Board member who was nominated and agreed to by the HWNZ Board.

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group will be sponsored by the HWNZ Board. HWNZ Board members will be invited to attend meetings as appropriate.
Other stakeholders will be co-opted as appropriate.

5. Meetings

Frequency

The Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group is convened by HWNZ and will normally meet quarterly, with two one face to face and two teleconferences per year. Additional meetings may be called if urgent advice is requested from HWNZ, Ministry of Health or other key stakeholders within the sector.

Quorum

At any meeting a quorum shall consist of seven members.

Venue

Meetings will be held at the Ministry of Health, No 1 The Terrace in Wellington. Options to join by teleconference or video conference will be available.

Agenda

Agenda items will be forwarded to the Chair of the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group and be added up until seven days prior to the meeting date. The agenda will be circulated to members five days prior to the meeting date. Any member of the group can raise an issue with the Chair which may be added to the agenda or require an extraordinary meeting with the group.

Minutes

Minutes will be circulated to members within ten working days of meetings.

6. Confidentiality

Members of the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group members can share data and papers for the meetings with their constituencies unless HWNZ states otherwise. Rationale will be provided by the Ministry of Health for keeping any information confidential.

7. Conflict of Interest

It is recognised that members and their organisations have interests in the matters being considered by the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group. In general, these interests only become a conflict of interest where there is potential for personal and/or organisational gain. This could be actual or perceived.
Members must declare if they have financial, professional, organisation or personal interest (direct or indirect) that might create conflict. A Conflict of Interest register will be kept and the Chair will ensure conflicts of interest are managed appropriately.

8. Payment and Expenses

It is not normal Ministry of Health practice to pay representatives from the publicly-funded Health Sector for their attendance. HWNZ may remunerate other parties by agreement.
Direct expenses for these parties will be funded by the Ministry. Travel costs and accommodation is to be booked by the Ministry on the attendee’s behalf. The Ministry will not reimburse travel costs and accommodation booked by attendees.

9. Terms and Review

The Terms of Reference replace the previous terms of reference for MEAG and will be reviewed twelve months after the commencement of the Midwifery Strategic Advisory Group.

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