The Maternity Care Communication and Collaboration Project

What Is It?

Effective maternity care involves different maternity care professionals working together with women to produce quality outcomes. In particular, effective care involves providing seamless, individually tailored maternity care for women from pregnancy, through to labour and birth, and into the post-birth period. This relies on effective communication, respect, and trust between different carers.

In 2010, the QCMB Communication and Collaboration team conducted a survey asking maternity care providers to share their experiences of providing maternity care in Queensland. It was found that inadequate or problematic communication was identified by maternity carers as an important obstacle.

(click here to learn more about the survey findings).

There are three main aims of the Maternity Care Communication and Collaboration Project:

  • Develop a model of communication to improve the sharing of information between care providers, and between care providers and their clients;
  • Develop guidelines that identify tools and resources for implementing the model of effective communication; and
  • Develop and pilot a training program to enhance information sharing between care providers, and between care providers and their clients.

In 2010, Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies developed a model of communication to map effective communication in Queensland maternity care and factors that influence information sharing. The model resides in theory from the research literature in health care and contains practical elements integrated through consulting with maternity care providers, opinion leaders and stakeholders from Queensland.

In 2011, the Guidebook – Sharing Information Professionally (SIP), was developed to implement the model of communication. The Guidebook outlines the WISE Guidelines for communication (Woman-centred, Interprofessional, System supported at Every stage of care) and tools to help achieve WISE information sharing. The guidebook can be downloaded here.

In 2012, a program was developed and piloted to implement the WISE Guidelines for sharing information professionally. This program is called the WISE Maternity Care Program. The program consists of:

  • The Sharing Information Professionally (SIP) training program for maternity care providers. This program assists maternity care providers to refresh their skills on effective information sharing by learning about the WISE Guidelines in an interactive way. Care providers can complete the program as an individual, or with other members of their facility.
  • The Women’s Information Program informs women on what it means to have a “WISE” care provider. It also helps inform women about the Healthcare Rights in Australia and how to use the Queensland Health Pregnancy Health Record. A toolbox is also available for women containing resources for making informed decisions during pregnancy and birth. Women can access the program online or in booklet form.

You can access the program at 

Who Is Doing It?

Project Leader:
Michelle Heatley

Clinical Facilitator:
Audette Smith

Project Team:
Bernadette Watson
Cindy Gallois

For further information:

If you would like more information about the Maternity Care Communication and Collaboration Project please email