We were created to provide its community midwives with a supportive practice management and quality practice system, enabling high quality continuity of care for women throughout New Zealand.
We support the sustainability of midwifery practices and maternity services throughout New Zealand by providing a responsive practice management service, and offering personalised one on one assistance to our midwife members to enable midwives to meet their service, professional and financial commitments.
We also undertake a variety of projects for the profession, health service providers, the Ministry of Health, research organisations and communities that utilise the rich collection of data we manage around the provision of maternity services in New Zealand by midwives.
The MMPO manages the midwifery outcomes database for the New Zealand College of Midwives to ensure midwives can review their work against the standards of the profession and help women choosing midwifery led maternity care achieve high quality outcomes.
All midwifery data obtained through our practice management system is anonymised, aggregated and developed into a series of reports for benchmarking, research and service monitoring. This data is used to provide direction for midwifery practice and maternity service development both nationally and internationally.
The Nurses Amendment Act of 1990 opened the door for midwives to practise autonomously in the community. It became clear that midwives working in the community as self-employed Lead Maternity Carers needed a service to collect payment for their work from the Ministry of Health.
Originally, MMPO's work was mainly paper-based. Jacqui Anderson, current chair of the MMPO Board, recalled that there were 16 different forms that midwives had to fill out after attending a birth. When she first received boxes of these forms at her home her husband joked that they would have to get a bigger house.
The MMPO was instrumental over the years in negotiating with the Ministry of Health to rationalise and reorganise the administrative systems associated with the work of LMC midwives. One of its great achievements was the setting-up of the ‘pink notes’ system where midwives could obtain from us standardised notes to record each client’s details and the progress of her pregnancy and birth.
As we marked the MMPO’s 20th anniversary in 2017, it is important to note that the organisation has continued to evolve in response to restructuring within the health service, changes in political philosophies influencing maternity and to new technology.
Looking to the future we want to use our history as the underlying driving principle in the way we operate. This means things like, welcoming every LMC midwife and helping and supporting them in any way we can while they are a midwife. Because the MMPO is 100% owned by the College this commitment is real in all aspects including financially as all surpluses made are reinvested back into LMC midwifery.