Press Release

Micheál Martin, TD, Minister for Health and Children launches Community Midwifery Scheme Report

Mr. Micheál Martin, TD, Minister for Health and Children joined staff, parents and babies in celebrating the success of the Community Home Birth and DOMINO Service in the National Maternity Hospital´s Midwives Sitting Room in Holles Street.

Four years after its inception this service is going from strength to strength. The Minister pointed out that this project was developed by The National Maternity Hospital to test the feasibility of offering a safe hospital outreach Home Birth and DOMINO service to women with low risk pregnancies. To date 800 babies have been born under the care of this Community Midwifery Scheme and of these 70 were born in their own homes.

Dr. Harold Brenner, who was commissioned by the ERHA to carry out an independent evaluation of the project, stated in his report that, on the basis of the very high levels of client satisfaction and the excellent clinical outcomes, a strong case could be made for the development of a similar service within the catchment areas of other maternity hospitals and units throughout the country. The Minister also drew attention to the fact that clients of the Community Maternity Service had an 85% breastfeeding rate compared with the national rate of 36.9%, as reported in the recently published Report on the Perinatal Statistics for 1999.

The Minister welcomed the opportunity to endorse the success of a service initiative that so closely mirrors the Vision of the new Health Strategy, in that it is family-centred, it offers an excellent quality of care, it is cost effective and it is linked to a continuous auditing process, which is in line with best evidence based practice both nationally and internationally.

For further information please contact: Maeve Dwyer, Matron, National Maternity Hospital. Tel: 6373116/7 or email: matron@nmh.ie