Time for action on National Maternity Strategy

 

Sir, – The Midwives Association of Ireland (MAI) welcomes and endorses the Maternity Overview Report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and its comments and recommendations on the National Maternity Strategy.

Midwives have become increasingly concerned with the lack of progress of implementation of the strategy published over four years ago and in particular with the absence of any concerted attempt to establish the foundation of this strategy, the supported care model.

We have been proactive in raising the concerns of midwives in relation to this and related matters and launched a Midwives Manifesto for the general election, which was sent to the political party leaders and their respective health spokespersons (available on our website).

In response to the HIQA report published on February 12th, the MAI is concerned not only with the lack of action but with the apparent lack of accountability in respect of implementation of this, the first National Maternity Strategy in the history of the State, a strategy born out of the too many avoidable injuries and deaths to women and babies in recent decades and too many secondary victims – staff working in woefully inadequate facilities, underfunded, chronically understaffed, poorly supported in a system of outdated, non-evidence based practice. We note that the funding provided to implement the strategy to date is but a fraction of what was costed.

We are calling for urgent action to address these issues without further delay in the interests of safety for women, babies and their families.

Failure to do so will result in further burnout and migration of staff who can no longer tolerate the constricted conditions and configuration of care which meets the needs of no one and completely fails the needs of women, babies and families. – Yours, etc,

PATRICIA HUGHES,

Chairwoman

The Midwives Association

of Ireland,

Donabate, Co Dublin.