How can models of care information be used?
This release is part of a work program to report on the maternity models of care available to women in Australia and looks at the number and characteristics of these models of care. Future reporting will look at measures of access to models of care and outcomes for women and babies using different models of care. A goal outlined in the Australian Government’s National Maternity Services Plan is to increase access to local maternity care by expanding the range of models of care available (DoH 2010). Classifying the models of care available to women at the service level will provide a picture of the maternity models of care available across Australia and monitoring this over time will help in evaluating whether the range of models of care available to women is expanding. Assigning a major model category to each model of care means the range of models of care available to women can be reported on using common terminology.
Collecting information about maternity models of care facilitates the inclusion of model of care data elements into the NPDC. Two model of care data elements were added to the specifications for this collection from 1 July 2020 and jurisdictions are looking to collect this information. This means that for every woman giving birth in Australia, information about their ‘primary’ model of care and their model of care at the ‘onset of labour or non-labour caesarean section’ will be collected. Linking data from the NPDC and the MoC NBPDS will provide information on the number and characteristics of women using different models of care and outcomes for them and their babies. It will also enable mapping and analyses at smaller geographic levels. This will support the aims of the strategic directions for Australian maternity services to improve options for women and maternal and perinatal health across Australia (COAG 2019).
Queensland provided models of care information for all women giving birth in their perinatal collection in 2021. This is the first perinatal models of care data to be assessed as being suitable for reporting and are used as a case study in Maternity models of care in focus to show how models of care information from two AIHW data collections may be used together. This report explores the number of women using different models of care in Queensland, whether these differ by maternal characteristics, and selected outcomes for mothers and babies by model of care. Similar information for other jurisdictions will be available in future years.
Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council (2019) Woman-centred care: Strategic directions for Australian maternity services, Department of Health, Australian Government.
DoH (Department of Health) (2010) National Maternity Services Plan, Department of Health, Australian Government.