Embargoed 11am 1st October 2020
AIMS Ireland today welcomes the publication of the results of the National Maternity Experience Survey which highlights the importance of partner support during antenatal care, labour, birth and the postnatal period. In the largest survey of maternity care in the history of the state (carried out before Covid restrictions on partner support were implemented), the highest scoring question (95% positive score), in the Labour and Birth Section of the HIQA survey pertained to the support a partner gives and the impact of that support on the overall maternity service experience.
The survey also highlights many of the issues that AIMS and maternity service users have been consistently highlighting for the past 13 years. These issues arose in the AIMS “What Matters To You survey” results in 2015 and also are reoccurring issues highlighted by people who contact our support service :
Responding to the launch of the HIQA report, AIMS Chair and member of the National Maternity Experience Survey Programme Oversight Board, Krysia Lynch said “Whilst the majority of respondents in the survey had a positive experience, we must never forget that every mother and baby that has a poor experience is not just a minor statistic but a dyad that will live with the physical and emotional after effects of their maternity care experience perhaps for a lifetime. Difficult issues facing users of the maternity services as outlined in this report are brought to our attention every single day at AIMS via our support service, and many of these issues have been raised by us numerous times directly to the HSE. The National Maternity Strategy was to go some way towards addressing these issues, however here we are almost half way through the implementation period and so few of the recommendations have been achieved.”
“AIMS would also have to question the currency of this survey” continued Ms Lynch “when people’s experience of the maternity services have been catastrophically changed by restrictions put in place since the pandemic. One simply has to look at the importance of partner support antenatally, during labour and birth and postnatally, as alluded to in this survey, to see this. AIMS Ireland will be launching our own survey of COVID related maternity care experiences next week.”
“AIMS welcomes what appears to be a higher number of people who report their informed consent being requested before any tests, treatments and procedures then had been reported in our previous survey in 2014/5. We were disappointed however, on the first day of National Breastfeeding Week, to see 36% of respondents did not have an opportunity to discuss feeding opportunities during their antenatal care” she added.
“The survey shows a high rate of induction (39% said they were induced), a high rate of caesarean birth (34.2% of births) and a high rate of instrumental birth (14.4%) and paints a picture of a primarily highly medicalised, interventionist maternity service. Evidence shows us that a person centred approach results in higher satisfaction levels and better obstetric outcomes. AIMS would like to see more people reporting positive experiences, more people reporting they were offered choice and more people feeling supported in their choices be it in where and how to birth or in feeding their babies. AIMS believes much of this can be achieved by simply listening to pregnant people and genuinely placing them at the centre of their care. We celebrate all those who work so hard in our maternity services and we urge every one of them to evaluate the survey results and be an agent of change.” added the AIMS Chair.
AIMS Chair Krysia Lynch will speak at a facebook live session discussing the findings of the Maternity Experience Survey at 3.00pm on Thursday October 1st at www.facebook.com/AIMSIreland
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Krysia Lynch, AIMS Chair on 0877543751
Emily McElarney (AIMS PRO) on 0863856225
#NMCE ~maternity #partners #covid