Navigate Up
Sign In

Data Collection Overview

New South Wales Perinatal Data Collection (NSW PDC)

Data Collection Sources

Midwives complete a notification for all births in NSW private and public hospitals and homebirths within the scope of the collection.

Institutional environments

The NSW PDC is a population-based surveillance system covering all births in NSW public and private hospitals, as well as home births. Births occurring in NSW are required to be reported to the PDC under the NSW Public Health Act 2010. The PDC captures information on perinatal deaths that occur up to the time of discharge from hospital after birth, and some elements of perinatal morbidity. PDC notifications are sent to the Data Collections and Reporting Unit in the Health System Information and Performance Reporting Branch of the NSW Ministry of Health, where they are compiled into the PDC database. As of January 1 2016, all notifications are submitted electronically from hospital obstetric information systems to the Perinatal Data Collection Online System (PDCOS).

Relevance and Scope

The NSW PDC collects data on all live births of any gestation and stillbirths of at least 20 weeks gestation or at least 400 grams birthweight. The PDC receives notifications of women whose usual place of residence is outside NSW but who gave birth in NSW. The PDC does not receive information of births outside NSW to women who usually reside in NSW.


Selected Perinatal indicators are updated on Health Statistics NSW once the latest year of data becomes available. NSW Mothers and Babies is published annually by the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence. The delay between data collection and publication is one to two years but most commonly one year.


The PDC relies upon the midwife or the doctor to complete a notification form when a birth occurs, either by paper or electronic means. PDCOS contains validity checks for missing data and cross-checks between dependent variables. Error listings are returned to the hospital for correction and responses incorporated into PDCOS. On an annual basis an audit of births is carried out whereby the number of births reported to PDCOS is compared with the numbers of births recorded in individual hospitals. Unreported births are identified and hospitals forward any additional birth records for inclusion in PDCOS. Duplications in the PDC dataset are removed on an annual basis prior to the data being made available for use. A validation study comparing information in the PDC with information contained in the medical record was most recently carried out in 1998. Results were published in NSW Mothers and Babies 1998.


The New South Wales Mothers and Babies 2014 report is available in hard copy and online.
Selected indicators are also available on Health Statistics NSW.
PDC data for research purposes may be provided in two formats. Aggregate information similar to that contained in the report and data concerning individuals with identifying information removed. All requests for data should be submitted in writing to the Executive Director, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence. Request for identifying data concerning individuals for sufficiently important research purposes will be referred to the NSW Population and Health Services Research Ethics Committee.


The PDC Manual contains guidelines for midwives completing notifications. Metadata for the PDC is available on request. Additional data linkage was conducted for the NSW Mothers and Babies, 2010. For this report data from the NSW Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) for public and private hospitals in NSW was linked to PDC data to provide information on mother’s health insurance status.

Maternity Information Matrix © 2011-2014 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and University of New South Wales | Copyright information | Disclaimer