Public asked for input on maternity standards

Members of the public are being asked for their input into new standards aimed at improving maternity services available in Ireland.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has launched an eight-week public consultation on new draft standards ‘to provide an opportunity for people to be part of shaping the future of maternity care in Ireland'.

"These draft maternity standards, based on international evidence and extensive engagement nationally, have been developed to improve the standard of maternity services in Ireland. They were developed with key stakeholders, including women and their partners, advocates and maternity services providers," explained HIQA chief executive, Phelim Quinn.

The standards have been developed following a number of high-profile investigations and reviews in recent years, including the case of Savita Halappanavar, who died in University Hospital Galway in 2013, when she was 17 weeks pregnant.

A number of reports into her death, including one from HIQA, found numerous failings in relation to her care.

Meanwhile following the unexpected deaths of five infants at Portlaoise Hospital in recent years, HIQA published a damning report on the hospital, which highlighted failures over a number of years by the HSE at a national, regional and local level to decisively address numerous clinical governance and management issues.

It was following the Portlaoise investigation that HIQA ‘committed to the development of these (new) standards as an important mechanism for driving quality and safety'.

"Women should have appropriate access to the right level of maternity care at any given time. We hope that these standards will build confidence in Irish maternity services. They show women and their families what they can expect from maternity services and what safe, high-quality maternity services should look like when quality standards are implemented," Mr Quinn commented.

The Draft National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services are available for public consultation until 5pm on Monday, May 16.

"We encourage members of the public and all interested parties to provide feedback and become involved in the standards development process by submitting their views on these draft national standards," Mr Quinn said.

The draft standards are available in full, along with a guide and information on the public consultation, here

The consultation form can also be completed online here


[Posted: Tue 22/03/2016]

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