Maternity Services Research Project

Targeted research to improve the quality and safety of maternity services.

Page last updated: 18 November 2014

Page last reviewed: 18 November 2014

In response to the Maternity Services Review, funding was provided for the Improving Maternity Services Package, including a component for targeted research activities.

Funding was provided to the National Health and Medical Reserach Council to initiate targeted research aimed at improving the quality and safety of maternity services in the following key priority areas:
  • Area 1. Investigate interventions which are intended to improve maternal and perinatal outcomes including (without limitation):
    • inductions
    • instrumental deliveries and
    • caesarean section rates including:
      • identification of barriers to higher rates of vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
      • identification of options for reducing index pregnancy caesareans and
      • the assessment of mortality and morbidity associated with caesareans for mothers and for babies, including data on neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions following caesarean sections.
  • Area 2. Investigate models of care that can improve maternal and perinatal outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their babies.
  • Area 3. Investigate the causes of stillbirths in Australia and how these may be addressed.
  • Area 4.The development of a composite index of need for the provision of maternity services.