The NPESU was established in 1979 and provides expertise, advice and evidence to inform policy, community discussion and decision-making on the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies. The NPESU is a joint unit of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH), and the School of Women’s and Children’s Health (SWCH) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (UNSW). This places the NPESU at the perfect intersection between clinical and public health research, and cutting-edge expertise in managing and analysing large-scale complex health data (‘big data’).
The NPESU undertakes both commissioned and investigator-led research with particular expertise in reproductive medicine, stillbirth research, models of maternity care, perinatal mental health, fetal growth charts, and newborn care of high-risk infants. Methodological areas of expertise include construction and analysis of linked administrative datasets, perinatal epidemiology and biostatistics, policy evaluation, health services costing and research, and health economics. The team comprises senior and junior academic staff, clinicians, professional staff and higher-degree research students.
The NPESU also manages and is Data Custodian of two regional clinical quality registries: the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) and the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN). ANZARD collects treatment and outcome data on all assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles performed in Australian and New Zealand fertility clinics. The ANZNN collects data on high risk infants admitted to Category III and II neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Both registries play a critical role in monitoring clinical care and outcomes, informing clinical practice and policy, and providing evidence-based research.