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The Southern District Health Board has received special funding for a six-month project setting itself up as a "demonstration site" to improve maternity services nationwide.
Director of midwifery (Otago) Jenny Humphries said the project, to be completed by July, had received $130,000 in funding from the Ministry of Health.
In this month's newsletter to Otago GPs, Dr Anne Worsnop said the project would provide increased reviewing of patient data, more networking among health workers and between health disciplines, and better patient feedback, with particular emphasis on "high-need" groups such as Maori and young mothers.
A multidisciplinary group had been established to work on the project.
The project would assist development of national approaches and guidelines, Dr Worsnop said.
A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said Southern was one of four sites funded for the project.
The others were Hutt Valley DHB, Waitemata DHB and Mid Central/Whanganui.
Southern DHB funding and finance manager Robert Mackway-Jones said the project was separate from the board's rural maternity review but would help inform its end result.