Press Release

New plan to implement the National Maternity Strategy and ensure women, their babies and their families get safe, quality and dignified care – Minister Harris

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, TD, today launched the National Maternity Strategy HSE Implementation Plan and formally launched the National Women and Infants Health Programme.

The Programme has been established within the HSE to lead the management, organisation and delivery of maternity, gynaecological and neonatal services. The Programme will lead the implementation of the Strategy.

The Minister said, “This is a very significant day for the future of maternity services in Ireland. The development of the Implementation Plan and the establishment of the Programme is further evidence of the Government’s ongoing commitment to the progressive development of our maternity services.”

“I wish the Programme well in their work as they move forward to implement the Strategy and to drive improvements across maternity, neonatal and gynaecology services. Both the development of the Implementation Plan and the establishment of the Programme represent key building blocks to facilitate the provision of a consistently safe and high quality maternity service.”

“We have a great plan so now let us implement it and build a maternity service which provides women, their babies and their families with the safe, quality and dignified care that they deserve”.

Implementation of the Strategy is already underway with additional funding provided in 2016 and 2017. The Minister is committed to providing further additional resources for the Strategy in 2018.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

Ireland’s first National Maternity Strategy, “Creating a Better Future Together” provides a clear vision and direction as to how Irish maternity services will be developed, improved and made safer over the coming years. It will ensure that women are front and centre in all decisions about their care. The aim of the Strategy is to ensure that every woman will be able to access the right level of care, from the right professional, at the right time and in the right place, based on her need.

The National Women and Infants Health Programme has been established within the HSE to lead the management, organisation and delivery of maternity, gynaecological and neonatal services. The Programme will lead the implementation of the Strategy, and this work will be carried out on an incremental basis.

Excellent progress in maternity services was made in 2016, which in addition to the publication of the Strategy, saw the publication of the HSE’s National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death, HIQA’s National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services, commencement of the phased implementation of the Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System and the publication of monthly Maternity Safety Statements for each maternity hospital/unit.