Consumer perspectives on the SUDI protection model

Project background

Commissioned by Counties Manukau Health (CMH), the purpose of this project was to explore the views of mothers and caregivers on the Safe Sleep Tool, a new SUDI risk assessment tool to be implemented across Counties-Manukau Health, which will initially help health professionals and families to identify and respond to SUDI risk during pregnancy and up to one year after the birth.

Three objectives of this consultation were to:

  1. Investigate parents’ and caregivers’ views on Safe Sleep practices
  2. Understand parents’ and caregivers’ prior knowledge of SUDI
  3. Explore parents’ and caregivers’ perceptions of the SUDI RISK TOOL

SUDI is the most common cause of post neonatal mortality (28 days to 1 year of age) in New Zealand affecting mostly Maaori and Pacific babies. The national mortality rate ratio for Maaori is 5.57 (95% CI 3.89-7.98), which is significantly higher than the rates for non-Maaori, non-Pacific babies, with a total of 108 SUDI deaths between 2012 and 2016. The Pacific SUDI rate ratio from 2012-2016 was 5.07 (95% CI 3.37-7.62) with SUDI making up half (53 of a total of 101) of the Pacific post neonatal deaths. Counties Manukau Health (CMH) has a SUDI rate higher than the national average, and while numbers fluctuate year by year, CMH averages approximately 8-10 deaths annually.


Parents and caregivers were recruited from across the Counties Manukau Health region from September to December 2018. A total of seven focus groups were conducted in Papakura, Ōtara, Manurewa and Māngere (x4).

Benefits for families and communities

The report highlighted a systems-wide approach to SUDI risk assessment needed to be people-centered and address the concerns mothers and caregivers had about routine screening and data collection of personalised information. Having timely and effective supports for high-risk families was considered an essential element for SUDI prevention programmes. While appropriate responses protect the most vulnerable babies and families, it also helps to build trust among consumers, about the screening processes and their impact.


Consumer Perspectives on SUDI Protecticon Model