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Waikato Quality Expert Leads Maternity Review

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For immediate release

Date: 9 July 2008

Waikato Quality Expert Leads Maternity Review

An independent review of the Wellington region's maternity services commissioned by the Ministry of Health begins next week.

Director-General of Health Stephen McKernan said the review will look at the relationship between Capital and Coast District Health Board and its maternity providers.

"There is a need to clarify roles and responsibilities of maternity providers to ensure women and their babies in the Wellington area get safe and quality maternity services."

Mr McKernan said a four-member committee led by Waikato District Health Board's Barbara Crawford, an expert in systems quality, will begin the review next week. A final report on the review will be submitted to the Director-General of Health by 8 September 2008.

The Review Committee includes obstetrician and gynaecologist Peter Stone, midwife Ann Yates and consumer representative Siniuia Lilo.

The Committee's role is to examine the current systems and processes and the frequency of reportable and sentinel events related to the provision of maternity services in the Wellington region. It will also recommend improvements and outline a range of options for dealing with the identified issues.

Although the Committee will look primarily at maternity services within the Wellington region, Mr McKernan said the findings will benefit ongoing work to improve maternity services nationally.

He said the Ministry-commissioned review would not duplicate the investigations being carried out by the Coroner and the Capital and Coast DHB, or potentially by the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Midwifery Council and ACC.

Barbara Crawford is Manager Quality and Clinical Risk for Waikato DHB.


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