AIMS Ireland is a consumer-led voluntary organisation that was formed in early 2007 by women, following their own experiences in the Irish maternity system. This year in 2019, we are celebrating 12 years supporting women in the Irish Maternity System. Our mission is to inform the public on models of care, birth practices and settings, which are supported by evidence-based research and international best practices, and to identify areas of excellence within the Irish Maternity System and to advocate for their extension. Our mission is also to speak on behalf of the service user experience in Ireland as to where evidence based practices are lacking, as to where care is unsafe and as to where new investment and services are needed. We also campaign for recognition of maternal autonomy and issues surrounding informed choice and informed refusal for women in all aspects of the maternity services. In addition we offer support to people who have been adversely affected by their experience of the Irish Maternity System via our support team and our support network.
AIMS Ireland campaigns on the grounds that birth choice is a basic human right as declared at the International Conference of Human Rights and Childbirth, “It is a fundamental human right for women to choose the circumstances in which they give birth, with whom and where, including a choice between hospital and home birth” and Article 8, European Court of Human Rights Click here.
The HSE’s National Consent Policy is still currently worded with reference to the now repealed 8th amendment. AIMS Ireland are campaigning for informed consent and informed refusal of treatment for pregnant people in a cohesive consent policy with buy in from all those working with pregnant people. Click Here.
For AIMS Ireland’s written submission to the Oricheatas Joint Health Committee in 2013 Click Here
For AIMS Ireland’s written submission to the Citizen’s Assembly in December 2016 Click Here
For AIMS Ireland’s second written submission to the Citizen’s Assembly in March 2017 on the presence of the 8th amendment in the Delivery Room Click Here
AIMS campaigned for the removal of the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution based on two premises; the first that a Modern 21st Century Maternity Service should include the provision of safe termination of pregnancy. The second premise was on the effect that the 8th amendment had on the autonomy of people in continuing pregnancy, in labour and in birth. AIMS Ireland were the only organisation to campaign on this premise and were delighted with the landslide public decision to repeal it on 25th May 2018 and with the signing of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 into Irish Law on the 20th December 2018.
Aims Ireland were invited to sit on the National Maternity Strategy Steering Group, the National Advisory Group for Better Safer Maternity Care and most recently were invited to orally address the Oireachtas Joint Health Committee on the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy. For the full written report click here.
We have representation on local hospital groups notably in the Saolta group in the West and also at the RCSI group in the North East. We also sit on many local hospital committees, notably at the NMH, The Rotunda, OLOL, UCHG, Portuncula, Sligo General, Limerick General and the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. We also sit on many national committees including the National Home birth Steering Group and the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Steering Group. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 we were also invited to address president Michael D Higgins and the First Lady at the Aras. In 2018 we were instrumental in setting up the first Maternity Service User Advisory Board in conjunction with the HSE.
Our committee regularly lecture at the many midwifery teaching universities including UCD, TCD and UCG and we are also frequent speakers at maternity conferences lectures and meetings around the country. In addition we are invited to participate in numerous studies and research projects in Ireland looking at the experience of the the maternity services.
AIMS Ireland offers independent, confidential, non-judgmental support and information on maternity choices and care to women and their families. We assist in complaints and run a private online Birth Healing support group for women following difficult and/or traumatic birth (please email email@example.com for details or to join), and a OASI support group for women who have experienced Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury, again please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to join.
Our day-to-day contact with service users, consumer interest groups and healthcare practitioners helps us stay informed of key issues in maternity care and services which we can directly feedback to service providers, media, HSE and Government in an effort to improve maternity services on a local and national level.
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For media enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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