For the first time in Ireland, women will be able to share their views about maternity services here, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has announced.
The country's first survey of maternity services will take place in early 2020, as part of a joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the HSE and the Department of Health.
Women who have recently given birth will be asked about their experiences of Ireland's maternity services, from prenatal and antenatal care through to postnatal care.
Those aged 16 and older who give birth during the survey period will be invited to participate three months after the birth of their baby.
"This is an exciting venture and will, for the first time, give new mothers the opportunity to share their views of Ireland's maternity services. Their feedback will provide an invaluable insight into the experiences of women who give birth in Ireland and help us to improve the quality and safety of Irish maternity services," commented HIQA chief executive, Phelim Quinn.
Last August, HIQA commenced a programme of monitoring against the National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services. All 19 maternity units in public hospitals will have been inspected against the National Standards by the end of this year.
"The National Maternity Survey is another key building block in the development of a maternity service that is responsive to the needs of women and their families, ensuring that they are treated with dignity, respect and compassion at all times," commented Rachel Flynn, director of the National Patient Experience Survey.
The National Maternity Survey aims to follow on from the success of the National Patient Experience Survey, which will run in May 2019 for the third year in succession. So far, over 26,000 patients across the country have taken part, submitting over 40,000 comments on their experiences.
Details of the maternity survey were announced at the inaugural National Patient Experience Survey conference in Dublin Castle on March 5, which was attended by over 300 healthcare professionals.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.