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The new strategy also signals a move away from the largely “consultant led” and “hospital based” approach that exists now.
It promises that “the new model of care now proposed represents a fundamental overhaul of services. The Strategy recommends that maternity services should be woman-centred, and provide integrated, team-based care, with women seeing the most appropriate professional, based on their need.
“Every woman will have a named lead healthcare professional who will have overall clinical responsibility for her care. “
At the offical launch in Trinity College today, the Minister for Health praised the strategy as one of the best he has seen. “This Government has made considerable investment in our maternity services in recent years and the Strategy provides further evidence of our very firm commitment to the development and improvement of services,” said Minister Leo Varadkar.
“It sets out a vision of maternity services that is about safety, quality and choice, and that places women very firmly at the centre of the service. I will advocate for it and work for its full implementation. In fact, we’ve already started.”
The strategy was drafted by a 31 member Steering Group. The Chair of the Steering Group Sylda Langford said: “The way the Steering Group came together and agreed a new approach, augers well for the future of maternity services in Ireland. I urge them all to become champions for the strategy within their own service, and help ensure that it is implemented with the same driving passion that was so prevalent at our meetings.”
The HIQA Report into the death of Ms Savita Halappanavar recommended that a strategy be developed to implement standard, consistent models for the delivery of a national maternity service that reflects best available evidence, to ensure that all pregnant women have appropriate and informed choices, and access to the right level of care and support.
A detailed implementation plan and timetable, to deliver on the Strategy’s required actions is expected to be finalised within the next six months.