Background: The Maternity Quality Initiative
The development of the New Zealand Maternity Standards is part of the Maternity Quality Initiative.
The Maternity Quality Initiative is made up of:
- a national Quality and Safety Programme for Maternity Services including maternity standards and clinical indicators
- revised Maternity Referral Guidelines, which set out processes for transfers of care including in an emergency
- standardised, electronic maternity information management to improve communication and sharing of health information among health practitioners
- improved maternity information systems and analysis, so there is better reporting and monitoring of maternity services.
The Quality and Safety Programme for Maternity Services will build on quality improvement mechanisms already in place in district health boards (DHBs).
At the national level, the programme will consist of specific national tools to guide the provision of maternity services, including the New Zealand Maternity Standards and New Zealand Maternity Clinical Indicators. At the local level, the New Zealand Maternity Standards and Clinical Indicators will underpin a programme of ongoing, systematic review by a local multidisciplinary team that works together to identify ways that services and care can be improved and works to implement those improvements.
Purpose of the New Zealand Maternity Standards
The New Zealand Maternity Standards are a fundamental part of the Quality and Safety Programme.
The Standards provide guidance for the provision of equitable, safe and high-quality maternity services throughout New Zealand.
They consist of three high-level strategic statements to guide the planning, funding, provision and monitoring of maternity services by the Ministry of Health, DHBs, service providers and health practitioners.
The Standards underpin the Primary Maternity Services Notice 2007, Maternity Referral Guidelines, DHB maternity service specifications, and other high-level guidelines and requirements.