Specialising in medical negligence*, Damien Tansey, was interviewed on Ocean FM in relation to the new Standards for Maternity Services. The maternity standards cover person-centred care and support, better health and well-being, and improving outcomes for women and their babies.
Damien Tansey told the listeners that he hopes hospitals will implement the new standards as soon as possible to allay fears that have arisen in recent years.
The National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services were launched by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, just before Christmas. The standards were developed by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to compliment its maternity strategy launched at the beginning of 2016.
HIQA says it describes what safe, high-quality maternity services should look like, and will help to ensure that services are meeting the necessary outcomes for people using their facilities. It said it is committed to the development of high standards following a number of high-profile failings in the delivery of safe, high-quality care in maternity services.
In recent years, there have been two cases of new mothers dying after giving birth in Sligo University Hospital:
- Dhara Kivlehan from Dromahair, Co. Leitrim passed away 8 days after giving birth in 2010; and
- Sally Rowlette from Dromore West, Co. Sligo, also died following the birth of her fourth child in 2013.
Damien Tansey represented both the Kivlehan and Rowlette families and he has welcomed the new guidelines.
Mr Tansey told Ocean FM that the objective was that cases like these should never be let happen again.
He also said that sufficient resources were needed to ensure the new standards would be a success.