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In 2011, PCMCH developed and implemented criteria related to maternal and neonatal levels of care (LOC) with the goal of ensuring equitable access to timely, high quality, evidence-based, family-centered care for all pregnant people and newborns in Ontario. The levels of care define hospitals’ capacity to provide maternal and neonatal services, including diagnostic tests and treatments, and outline the necessary health human resources required to provide care to these populations. Hospitals were expected to meet all criteria within their designated level of care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (24/365), unless otherwise stated, as described by the Levels of Care Clinical Guidelines (the Guidelines).

In 2018, PCMCH undertook an exercise to evaluate the congruency between Ontario hospitals’ self-designated level of maternal and/or neonatal care and the criteria outlined within the Guidelines to gain a better understanding of current maternal-neonatal health service resources in Ontario. The evaluation showed that while some hospitals exceeded the required number of resources for their levels, a number did not meet all criteria as originally prescribed within the Guidelines (e.g., some services were not available 24/7/365).

The Maternal-Newborn Committee at PCMCH is launching the process of updating criteria related to maternal LOC. This work aligns with the work in progress by Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO) to strengthen criteria related to neonatal intensive care units, otherwise described as level 2 and level 3 neonatal services. Criteria related to neonatal level 1 will be updated in the near future.

Kindly see the link below to respond to the Call for Expression of Interest to participate on the PCMCH Task Force being assembled to complete this work.  The deadline for applications is September 15, 2021.

We thank you in advance for your support in working to ensure pregnant people are cared for at the appropriate LOC. Should you have any questions, please contact Alexandra Thorp, Senior Program Manager, at