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Data Collection Overview

Northern Territory Perinatal Data Collection (NT PDC)

Data Collection Sources

Information on births that take place in all five NT public hospitals, one private hospital, at home (planned homebirths) and other non-hospital localities.

Institutional environments

The NT Midwives’ Collection is a population-based census of all births that occurred in the NT, including births in public and private hospitals, planned home births, births in community health centres, and other non-hospital births. The NT Midwives’ Collection contains information on both NT residents and interstate residents who gave birth in the NT. Since 2005 the majority of data about the births are captured directly in electronic format.
Public hospital births data including Home Births data are entered into the Maternity Unit Module of Caresys (the Hospital Information System which links to the NT Midwives’ Collection) by public hospital midwives. Public hospital births data also include admitted births before arrival (BBA) and births in the public hospital home birth service.
Private hospital births data are entered onto a web database on the intranet by private hospital midwives with additional data received from the hospitals electronic patient record system. Free births and non-admitted births that occurred at remote community health centres are recorded onto a notification form. These data are then entered by the Perintal Business Analyst onto the intranet site. Information such as mother’s postpartum complication and baby’s further health outcomes are not collected in the NT Midwives’ Collection.

Relevance and Scope

The NT Midwives’ Collection collects information on live births (regardless of gestational age) and stillbirths (20 or more completed weeks of gestation or of 400 grams or more birthweight). The primary purpose of the collection is to inform, and encourage professional discussion regarding the health of women and their babies. This will assist policy makers and health planners to provide better services to the community. In addition, the aim is to provide feedback to midwives, Aboriginal Health Workers, community health nurses and medical practitioners involved with maternal and child health.


NT PDC data are provided to the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit annually for reporting in Australia’s Mothers and Babies.
Data are also reported in local NT reports by the Innovation and Research Branch. The time period between the year of birth and publication is two years. The latest publication is the 2015 NT Mothers and Babies report published in 2018.


Validations and logic checks are performed on various items and anomalies identified during this process and missing data on key items are repaired by the Perinatal Business Analyst. The Perinatal Business Analyst has access to public hospital records and consults with private hospital staff when undertaking these repairs. In 2012 the Caresys interface was modified to create additional mandatory data entries to reduce the occurrence of missing data.


NT perintal data is reported in the following reports:
• Northern Territory Midwives Collection: Mothers and Babies
• Trends in the Health of Mothers and Babies, Northern Territory
The latest publication is the Mothers and Babies 2016 report. All NT perinatal reports are available in hard copy and online at the Health Gains Planning Branch publication website.


Compilation of a guideline for the collection of NT perinatal data is currently underway. The NT Mothers and Babies report provides some background material to assist with interpretation of data, particularly when comparing different reference periods.

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