85% of women had a positive maternity experience – but many had concerns about staffing pressure, a new HIQA survey has found.
The National Maternity Experience Survey had over 3,200 respondents.
The report found:
“There were thousands of positive comments about the various healthcare professionals that the women interacted with, particularly midwives. … A number of women who responded to the survey commented on staffing levels and the difficulties they sometimes experienced in accessing assistance from staff when they needed it.”
The INMO said that the report was further evidence of the trust women have in midwives, but that it is clearly an understaffed sector.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“It is clear that midwives’ work is incredibly valuable to all those in their care. The whole midwifery profession can take pride in how highly their skills are valued.
“But understaffing evidently has a real impact on patients. Despite population growth, the number of midwives has barely budged in recent years. Existing midwife-led services have been threatened, with little rollout of new services.
“There is still no funded plan to get the midwifery workforce to safe and appropriate levels. Women clearly deserve better: the current medically focused model can rush women through, leaving many without the aftercare they need.
“Midwifery can provide woman-centred care, with genuine options of midwife-led care at home or in maternity hospital. But they need the staffing levels to do it.”
Notes to editors:
The number of Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) midwife positions in Ireland has increased by just 24 since December 2017.
Workforce data for August 2020 states there were 1,497 WTE Public Health Nurses employed in the HSE.