UL Hospitals welcomes publication of National Maternity Strategy

Group CEO Colette Cowan, who was a member of the steering group which developed the plan, commented that the UL Hospitals Group "is now looking forward to implementing the actions in the strategy in the interests of the all the mothers and babies of the Mid-West"

"I am proud to have been associated with the strategy, the fundamental aim of which is to improve our maternity and neonatal services, offering safe and high quality care.  This will be achieved by offering a standardised, consistent care model which at the same time respects the individual choice of women on how they wish that care to be delivered at this most special time in their lives,"Ms. Cowan said.

"While Ireland provides essentially safe maternity care, confidence has been shaken in recent years by a series of tragedies and adverse events where standards fell far short of what women and their families expected or deserved.   It was therefore vital to include the voices of women like Roisin Molloy and Shauna Keyes in the steering group and in developing the way forward for maternity and neonatal services in Ireland."

"At UL Hospitals, we are absolutely committed to making the vision contained in the strategy a reality for the women of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.  In fact, we have already begun work on many of the actions outlined in the report.  Improving standards of maternity care - in the hospital and in the community - will require more staff and staff with a different mix of skills.   We are already recruiting extra midwives and neonatal nurses for the University Maternity Hospital Limerick.  We have in recent weeks appointed a new consultant neonatologist and a new consultant obstetrician at the hospital.   And we look forward to engaging with the HSE's HR directorate, with our academic partners and with the various professional bodies and trade unions on the significant workforce planning that needs to be undertaken to achieve the aims of the strategy. 

"Health and wellbeing are essential to the strategy in ensuring mothers can deliver and that babies get the best start in life.   And the relatively low breastfeeding rates in the Mid-West are an obvious area of improvement we must all work on, " Ms. Cowan said. 

"Perhaps most exciting of all locally is the commitment to relocate University Maternity Hospital Limerick from the Ennis Road to our main campus at UHL.   The National Maternity Strategy outlines a vision where care, subject to the mother's wishes, is delivered at the lowest level of complexity.   But where pregnancies are more complex, women require the full range of intensive care and high dependency teams and interventions the UHL alone in this region can provide," she concluded