Contact Dr. Krysia Lynch 0877543751
AIMS Ireland welcomes the launch today of the Maternity Care Standards for Ireland by Minister of Health, Simon Harris. AIMSI were delighted to be invited by HIQA to participate in the advisory board for the creation of these standards along with other service user representatives.
AIMSI Ireland has been campaigning for the creation and introduction of maternity care standards since our inception in 2007. Standards define a minimum level of care that every pregnant person can expect to receive when using the maternity care services in Ireland, and provided such standards can be audited they will enable improved care.
AIMS Ireland Chair and member of the HIQA advisory committee and Maternity Strategy Steering Committee, said “The key to effective standards are regular audits. We hope that these standards will be adopted by all those in Ireland caring for pregnant people and that a timely mechanism to ensure their compliance is also put into place.”
Lynch continued, “One of the critical areas in the Irish Maternity service is lack of geographic access and the lack of equity in obtaining certain services; we certainly hope that such standards will help to ensure that irrespective of where users of the service live in the country they will be able to access the same safe care.”
Finally Lynch commented, “Without a question the most important aspect to users of the service is its safety and also that it complies with the latest evidenced based research, and we certainly hope that these standards will go some way to ensuring this. As part of the public consultation on Maternity Care in Ireland carried out by the Department of Health and Children last year, the key themes identified by those 1300 respondents in addition to safety were the need to be listened to, the importance of choice in birth setting, the issue of informed consent and refusal and more support for breastfeeding. It is unclear whether these standards will be able to address all of these issues as resources for the maternity services are still lacking and also the National Consent Policy is still informed by the 8th amendment which denies women the autonomy to make choices during labour and birth.”