Exploring women’s experiences of maternity service delivery in north west Tasmania: A qualitative study

Mrs Sally Hargreaves1, Dr Sarah Prior2, Dr Sarah Young2, Dr Jennifer Ayton2

1Tasmanian Health Service, , Australia, 2Tasmanian School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, , Australia


Maternity services across Australia incorporate antenatal, birthing, and postnatal care. Receiving maternity care is a significant experience in a pregnant woman and her family’s lives. Currently, the Tasmanian Health Service provides antenatal care and postnatal services in the home and in outpatient clinics to the women of the North West. The North West Private Hospital, through contractual agreements with the government, provide inpatient and birthing services. A woman’s journey through each care component is important. Enhancing the woman’s experience through support networks, communication and the development of relationships is vital for women in their maternity care experience.

The aim of this qualitative study is to investigate the lived experiences of women who receive maternity care in North West Tasmania, using a descriptive qualitative approach. This approach is well suited to explore highlights and challenges within the healthcare setting.

Results of this study have the potential to guide policies aimed at improving maternity services within the Tasmanian context, by identifying gaps in maternity care and the reasons why it is important for woman and their families to have access to quality and safe care.


Mrs Sally Hargreaves, Tasmanian Health Service North West. Sally is an experienced Registered Midwife and Nurse. Sally is passionate about maintaining a high standard of care for patients in the North West, quality improvement, leadership and Women’s and Children’s health.

Dr Sarah Prior, Tasmanian School of Medicine, University of Tasmania. Sarah is a lecturer in Health Service Improvement and will play a supervisory role in this project. Sarah is an experienced researcher and has worked with the THS-NW on many health service improvement projects.

Dr Sarah Young, Tasmanian School of Medicine, University of Tasmania. Sarah is a lecturer in the School of Medicine MBBS program and an early career researcher. She has experience in qualitative research and her field of expertise is maternal mental health. She has extensive experience interviewing new mothers.

Dr Jennifer Ayton, Tasmanian School of Medicine, University of Tasmania. Jenn is an experienced qualitative researcher. Her field of expertise is maternal and reproductive health. She is a registered nurse/midwife. Jenn is the acting Program Lead of Domain 3 for Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor Surgery (MBBS)  | Senior Lecturer in Public Health Tasmanian School of Medicine | College of Health & Medicine.