PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MATERNITY SERVICES (AIMS IRELAND)
AIMS Ireland expresses our deepest condolences to the families of the three women whom we understand have died in our maternity services in recent weeks.
Service users must be assured that our maternity services are safe and fit for purpose, and we would welcome an independent external review in all cases of maternal death in Ireland as well as the public inquests which are now mandatory.
It is vital that the families and caregivers at the heart of such tragedies, in wherever care setting they occur, are treated with equal respect and fairness, and that they are afforded the same accountability and transparency.
Speaking earlier today Chair of AIMS Ireland Krysia Lynch said “We are devastated to learn of three recent maternal deaths in our maternity services, and we extend our deepest condolences to all the families and care givers involved”.
“We were surprised by the statement from University Maternity Hospital Limerick, which stated that home birth services in the mid west had been suspended as a result of one tragedy, given there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that this care pathway was a factor. We note no suspension of service has been announced with respect to two maternal deaths which occurred in hospitals around the same time.”
“Home birth in Ireland has repeatedly been shown to be as safe as hospital care, and by some metrics safer. As such, it is a cornerstone of the National Maternity Strategy 2016, championed by current Tanaiste Leo Varadkar during his time as Minister of Health.”
“We were pleased to learn from a number of women in the mid west that their home births are going ahead as planned and that, should they need to transfer to hospital care, they will transfer to UMHL as planned.”
“Irish Maternity Services are very limited with respect to choice, and we support all efforts to increase the range of high quality, safe services on offer to all expectant women, and that includes the maintenance of our national home birth service across the country”.
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