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Data Collection Overview

New South Wales Maternal and Perinatal Committee (NSW PMC)

Data Collection Sources

Notifications of perinatal deaths occurring in NSW hospitals via the NSW Maternal and Perinatal Committee Confidential Report on Perinatal Death form.

Institutional environments

Information on perinatal deaths and causes of death in NSW are obtained through the work of the NSW Maternal and Perinatal Committee. The NSW Maternal and Perinatal Committee is a quality assurance committee established under the NSW Health Administration Act 1982 (the Act), and is privileged under the Act to carry out confidential reviews of both maternal and perinatal deaths. Members are appointed by the NSW Minister for Health. Under a NSW Ministry of Health Policy Directive perinatal deaths occurring in NSW public hospitals are required to be reported to the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence (CEE) in the NSW Ministry of Health. The CEE receives a notification form, post-mortem report (if applicable), and any other relevant material from the hospital. Reported deaths are cross-checked against deaths reported in the Perinatal Data Collection (from the PDC Form at the time of birth or discharge) to ensure that all deaths have been reported. Neonatal deaths occurring outside hospital are not actively sought, but if information is provided then it is considered by the Committee. Information on perinatal deaths is considered by the Perinatal Outcomes Working Party of the Committee, which classifies the deaths according to the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Perinatal Death and (where applicable) Neonatal Death Classifications. Summary information is incorporated into the Perinatal Death Review Database in CEE.

Relevance and Scope

The Committee receives notifications of perinatal deaths among babies born to women whose usual place of residence is outside NSW but who gave birth in NSW. The Committee does not receive information of stillbirths outside NSW to women who usually reside in NSW. The Committee reviews perinatal deaths among live born babies, and stillbirths of at least 20 weeks gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight. The information obtained from these reviews assists in the development of policies aimed at improving the health of mothers and newborns in NSW. Information considered by the Committee is confidential.

Timeliness

The delay between data collection and publication is one to two years. NSW Mothers and Babies, 2010 was published in November 2012 by the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, using data from 2010.

Accuracy

Perinatal deaths include deaths reported to the PDC. As the PDC form is completed at discharge or transfer of the baby, deaths occurring after this time may not be reported to the PDC. Birth and perinatal death registration data held by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) give the most complete ascertainment of perinatal deaths for calculation of rates.

Accessibility

Perinatal deaths are reported in the New South Wales Mothers and Babies reports. The 2010 report is available in hard copy and online.
Requests for data should be submitted in writing to the 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.

Interpretability

Information on perinatal deaths is considered by the Perinatal Outcomes Working Party of the Committee, which classifies the deaths according to the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Perinatal Death and (where applicable) Neonatal Death Classifications (and not ICD10).

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