6 Feb 2010

Government abandons action plan on maternity care

8:46 pm on 6 February 2010

The Government has abandoned a move to formulate an action plan on maternity services, begun by the previous administration to strengthen services.

Health Minister Tony Ryall has called it off because, he says, establishing an action plan would only generate long lists of things to do, with no outcomes, rather than focusing on the quality and safety of pregnant women and their babies.

Mr Ryall says the Ministry of Health will, during the next 18 months, develop national quality and safety standards, revise referral guidelines, improve information systems and develop electronic maternity notes.

The College of Midwives supports the move to abandon the action plan and adopt the four targets.

College adviser Norma Campbell says she would like to see still more focus on community birthing units to reduce patient backlogs in hospitals.