Midwives Notification System

The Midwives Notification System (MNS) has been in operation since 1975 and receives information from midwives about births they attend in Western Australia (WA).

Notifications are for all births where the infant is of a gestational age of 20 weeks or more or a birth weight of 400 grams or more if gestation is unknown.

Data governance

The Maternal and Child Health Unit (MCHU) manages this data collection. The Assistant Director General, Public Health Division is the data steward and the Manager of the MCHU is the data custodian.

Mandate for collection

The WA Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 (external site) requires that midwives notify the Chief Health Officer of every birth they attend. Information to be reported is specified on the midwives notification Form 2 (PDF 546KB).

The Health (Notifications by Midwives) Regulations 1994 (external site) last amended May 2017 by publication in the Government Gazette page 2489 (PDF 1.1MB) (external site) regulates the use and contents of Form 2 (PDF 546KB).

Data sources

Midwives in Western Australia work in a variety of health care environments. These environments differ in clinical reporting systems available to midwives.

Notifications are received from: 

  • Public hospital maternity service midwives
  • Private hospital maternity service midwives
  • Publicly funded homebirth midwives
  • Private practice midwives
  • Midwives, Nurses or Medical Practitioners at any site who first provided care to a woman who gave birth.

Employers of midwives provide one of three data systems to enable notification through data file upload (99.6% of notifications). A small number of privately practising midwives and other health services submit notifications on paper requiring data entry (0.4% of notifications) to the Midwives Notification System.

Data elements

Information notified is listed on Form 2 and described in Guidelines for midwives notifications.

Data coverage

Notifications are required for all births where the infant is of a gestational age of 20 weeks or more or has a birth weight of 400 grams or more (if gestation is unknown).

For the mother, information received describes the period from conception to 24 hours following the birth, or death, discharge or transfer from the birth site, whichever is soonest. History of previous pregnancy outcomes and medical conditions diagnosed before conception that are present during this pregnancy are also included.

For the infant, information received describes the period from time of birth to time of discharge or transfer from the birth site, or death, whichever is soonest.

Information in each record enables Child Health Services to receive enough information to initiate appropriate and timely community care.

Inclusions

  • Pregnancy must have a gestational age of at least 20 weeks or if gestation unknown the infant had birth weight of at least 400 grams.
  • Births with stillborn infants

Exclusions

  • Births that had no registered midwife, nurse or doctor providing care during or following birth will have no health professional with a responsibility for notification. 
Data quality

Cooperative processes between staff of the Maternal and child Health Unit (MCHU) and reporting midwives aim to ensure validation, quality improvement and quality measurement of data held in the Midwives Notification System (MNS).

Following data file submission to the MNS, midwives access a report of records requiring validation. This access process differs for midwives at public and private health services. Manuals appropriate for public or private services are provided:

WA Health midwives:

Private hospital midwives:

Validation of notifications from other health services is managed by the staff of MCHU as required.

Data quality audits

An audit of MNS data 1980-2014 is in progress and expected to be completed in 2017.

Data requests

To request data email Birth Data

MNS data is available as unit record data and aggregate data. Conditions on data provision may be required prior to supply of unit record data. Unit record data or complex data requests should be discussed with the MNS Data Custodian to determine the most useful data provision method.

MNS is a core health data collection of the WA Linked Data Service and can be requested for research projects via the processes of the WA Data Linkage Unit (external site).

Data collection changes

Modifications to Form 2 often require changes to health service reporting processes and information systems they use.

Proposed modifications to Form 2 are reviewed at an annual forum of the MNS Reference Group comprised of managers and practitioners in midwifery and child health nursing who have legislated responsibilities associated with Form 2.

Changes to Form 2 must be recommended by the MNS Reference Group, the data steward and approved as an amendment to Health (Notification by Midwives) Regulations 1994.

Requests for changes to Form 2 must be directed to the Manager, MCHU by emailing Birth Data.

Reference material

Metadata

MNS data is used to report the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) and the Perinatal Data Set Specification (DSS) to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare. Metadata for these collections are available on the online metadata repository, MetEOR.

User Manuals/guides

The document, Guidelines for Completing Notification of Case Attended (PDF 773KB), is provided to assist in accurate and complete notification and approprate interpretation of the meaning and context of information held in the MNS.

Current forms and data file specifications

These documents specify information to be provided as paper or digital data notifications. They are to be used for notifying births from 1st July 2016:

Birth Date

Form Version

Birth Notification Version

MNS File Version

From Jul 2017

Form 2 (PDF 546KB)

BN4 (PDF 764KB)

M9 (PDF 305KB)

From Jul 2016

Form 2 (PDF 524KB)

BN3 (PDF 701KB)

M7 (PDF 595KB)

From Jul 2014

Jul 2014 (PDF 607KB)

BN2 specification Jul 2014 (PDF 603KB)

M6 (PDF 532KB)

Jan 2013 - Jun 2014

Jan 2013 (PDF 247KB)


M5 (PDF 594KB)

Jul 2012 - Dec 2012

Jul 2012 (PDF 268KB)


M4 (PDF 453KB)

Jan 2012 - Jun 2012

Jan 2012 (PDF 269KB)

Jan 2011 - Dec 2011

Jan 2011 (PDF 353KB)

Dec 1998 - Dec 2010

1997 (PDF 99KB)

1993 - 1997

1993 (PDF 132KB)

1990 - 1992

1990 (PDF 124KB)

1988 - 1989

1988 (PDF 105KB)

1985 - 1987

1985 (PDF 110KB)

1984

1984 (PDF 107KB)

1980 - 1983

1980 (PDF 90KB)

1974 - 1979

1974 (PDF 60KB)


Training and education

Email Birth Data to request training regarding MNS data validation processes.

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