Guidelines for Consultation with Obstetric and Related Medical Services (Referral Guidelines)

These guidelines provide Lead Maternity Carers with information about the categories of referral, referral pathways and criteria on which LMCs should advise women that a referral is warranted.

Published online: 
01 February 2012
Referral Guidelines cover image

These guidelines provide Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) with a list of conditions and criteria about referring pregnant women for consultations with other clinicians, transferring clinical responsibility for care to specialists as well as transferring care in emergencies.

This updated document also covers referral to a primary health care provider, guidelines for emergency transport and what to do when a woman declines referral, consultation or transfer of clinical responsibility. The document outlines the categories of referral and provides process maps detailing referral pathways.

The Referral Guidelines are based on best practice and were compiled by the Ministry of Health with input from an expert working group including midwifery, obstetrics, paediatrics and anaesthetics as well as consumer representatives.

The aim is to improve the safety and quality of maternity care and to ensure women are referred by their LMC to the most appropriate level of care for their particular condition. They are to be used in conjunction with the Maternity Services Notice 2007 and replace previous referral Guidelines.
The Ministry intends to review the referral Guidelines by December 2016. If you have any questions or feedback please contact maternity@moh.govt.nz

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    01 February 2012
  • ISBN:
    (print) 978-0-478-37339-4, (online) 978-0-478-37340-0
  • HP number:
    5417
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2012. Guidelines for Consultation with Obstetric and Related Medical Services (Referral Guidelines). Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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