Evaluation of the Victorian homebirthing pilots: service impact of homebirthing services Report uri icon


  • The overall aim of this project was to conduct an independent evaluation of Melbourne’s two publicly funded midwife-led homebirthing pilot programs; one operating at Casey Hospital (Southern Health) and the other at Sunshine Hospital (Western Health). The specific objectives, as specified by the Department of Health were to: • evaluate the service models applied in the pilot sites, including the impact on existing models of maternity care in relation to throughput and workforce, and implementation requirements relating to costing, resources, workforce, communication, quality and safety, systems and processes; • evaluate health services’ clinical governance arrangements for homebirthing applied during the pilots and their impact on the delivery of homebirthing services; • evaluate women’s experiences of participating in a homebirthing model of maternity care. To meet the stated aims of the project, this evaluation comprised a seven phase appraisal of each of the two homebirthing pilot programs. The phases consisted of: I) consultation with key stakeholders; II) a review of hospital documentation relevant to the homebirthing pilot program; III) a survey of all women who joined the homebirthing pilot program and have a baby who is aged eight weeks or more; IV) a survey of midwives working at each site/hospital (including midwives caring for women who plan/planned a homebirth and those caring for women who plan to birth in hospital (‘standard care’)); V) a survey of obstetric medical staff working at each site/hospital; VI) a review of clinical outcome data pertaining to the homebirthing program; and VII) an economic evaluation of the program

publication date

  • 2012