3 centres collaboration

Principles

The 3centres Collaboration steering group has developed six principles to provide a framework for developing guidelines, particularly for situations where there were ambiguities in the research evidence and difficulties reaching consensus. The principles state that to the greatest extent possible maternity care should be:

  • Safe and scientific. The safety and wellbeing of mothers and babies is fundamental to all maternity care. Care is based on relevant, evidence-based research and reviewed regularly.
  • Woman centred. Women are acknowledged as individuals who differ in their needs, values and preferences. Informed choice is an integral part of maternity care decision-making.
  • Equitable and accessible. Maternity care is available to women regardless of socioeconomic or cultural background, disability or place of residence.
  • Cost effective. Maternity care is delivered in an efficient and cost effective manner
  • Collaborative. Obstetricians, midwives, general practitioners and allied health staff adopt a multidisciplinary team approach to care, consultation and referral.
  • Every woman is a partner in the decision-making process. Her support network is acknowledged and valued.
  • A positive learning experience. Women are prepared for pregnancy, birth and parenting. Doctors, midwives and allied health staff learn, practice and improve their skills. Women are consulted regularly regarding experiences of care.

The implications of these principles for guidelines can be seen in the recommendation that screening tests are "offered" rather than "performed".

All guidelines contain recommendations that women receive written information in an appropriate language and format and are given an opportunity to discuss procedures and the implications of a positive result prior to those tests. This corresponds to principles of woman-centred and collaborative pregnancy care.