Collaborating to improve maternity and child health services

News
15 Dec 2016

Education and networking sessions were held in Nelson and Blenheim recently, as part of a South Island-wide initiative to update and inform local child health services.

The Maternity and Child Health Quality Improvement workshops were facilitated by Well Child Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement project manager Anna Foaese, and midwifery educator, Kerensa Leadbetter. The workshops, which also took place in Canterbury and Dunedin earlier this year, enable networking opportunities between health services, develop quality improvement skills and equip participants with a toolkit of resources. “It’s a great opportunity for child health professionals to come together, share ideas and learn about each other’s roles," Anna says. "We received very positive feedback and hope to offer annual workshops in the future, as we continue to improve child health outcomes across the South Island.” 

Health professionals from across the spectrum of child health services presented at the workshops, on topics including breastfeeding and the newborn multi-enrolment form. Speakers included an immunisation coordinator, Well Child Tamariki Ora providers, and service representatives from oral health and smoking cessation support services, maternal mental health services, and young parents network.

Participants were also given the chance to discuss what worked well for them and what areas needed improvement, such as the newborn multi-enrolment form. The form has been used in Nelson, Tasman and Wairau since April 2012, to ensure all babies are enrolled with their General Practice, National Immunisation Register, Well Child Provider, Newborn Hearing Screening and Oral Health from birth, to ensure timely and long-term engagement with these universal services.

Feedback from participants has been positive, although attendance from across the sector, including Lead Maternity Carers, General Practitioners and Practice Nurses, was identified as an area to improve on. The vision is to offer similar child health and maternity information updates on an annual basis, to ensure an integrated approach across the maternity and child health sector, as well as providing relevant, timely and consistent information.