A maternity strategy for Northern Ireland 2012-2018

DoH has carried out a review of policy on maternity service provision in Northern Ireland.

The review and outcomes

The review focused on the best available evidence for the care and treatment of mothers-to-be; quality, safety and service sustainability; wider workforce issues; and professional roles and responsibilities.

As a result, a draft strategy was developed, which was the subject of a public consultation from 28 September 2011 to 23 January 2012.

Following an analysis of the responses to the consultation, the final strategy, A Strategy for Maternity Care in Northern Ireland 2012-2018, was published on 2 July 2012.

The Strategy is outcomes focused. The six outcomes are:

  • to give every baby and family the best start in life
  • effective communication and high-quality maternity care
  • healthier women at the start of pregnancy (preconception care)
  • effective, locally accessible, antenatal care and a positive experience for prospective parents
  • safe labour and birth (intrapartum) care with improved experiences for mothers and babies
  • appropriate advice, and support for parents and baby after birth

The strategy aims to provide women and their partners, HSC staff, commissioners and policy makers with a clear pathway for maternity care in Northern Ireland from pre conceptual care through to postnatal care.

Within the document, twenty two objectives have been identified which link to the six outcomes identified above.

The HSC Board and Public Health Agency will co-lead on implementation. An action plan will be developed to take account of the outcomes and objectives listed in the document. The Department will receive an annual report on progress towards implementation.

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