New Home Birth policies and procedures

The Health Service Executive established a Clinical Governance Group to design, develop and deliver a home birth clinical governance system and structures that would meet best international standards for home birth services in Ireland.  A set of policies, procedures and guidelines were developed to support Self Employed Community Midwives to comply with their professional code of practice while delivering safe quality services to women that choose a homebirth.  These are underpinned by legislation and the common law.  A detailed analysis of these legal aspects can be accessed here.

Ultimately the goal is that the women of Ireland, the Self Employed Community Midwives and the Health Service Executive working in partnership will deliver on the implementation of the government’s National Maternity Strategy (2016).  This will ensure that women have a choice in respect of accessing safe maternity services which includes homebirth.

All Self Employed Community Midwives who are contracted to the Health Service Executive are required to implement these policies and procedures throughout 2017, to pilot them for a twelve month period, and to provide feedback to the Chairman of the Clinical Governance Group so that continual improvement takes place.

The evidence based policies, procedures and guidelines are accessible online .  It is through working in partnership that we will achieve our goals and deliver excellent home birth services for women who choose this model of maternity care.  The professional input of all those involved in the development of these significant outputs is acknowledged. If you have comments, feedback or any issues when implementing the documents, please email them to