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Minister for Health welcomes publication of the National Women and Infants Health Programmes

Today, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, welcomes the publication of the National Women & Infants Health Programme’s Annual Report for 2020. 

The National Women & Infants Health Programme was established in the HSE to lead the management, organisation and delivery of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services, strengthening such services by bringing together work that is currently undertaken across primary, community and acute care.

Minister Donnelly said: “The National Women and Infants Health Programme has done some very important work in the development of women’s health services since its establishment in 2017, particularly in maternity services, but also in the areas of gynaecology, fertility and sexual assault treatment services. The progress and positive effect of that work is reflected in this Report where we can clearly see significant benefits for women and families accessing maternity services.”

The Annual Report details significant progress in a range of areas for example, the on-going development and deployment of the supported care pathway across maternity services, with the addition of 12 additional Advanced Midwife Practitioner (AMP) posts, thereby ensuring that all 19 maternity services had at least one such post in 2020.

This enhances continuity of care to women, supports greater synergies between the Strategy’s care pathways and provides more choice for women. Importantly, 2020 also saw the initial roll out of Models of Care for Ambulatory Gynaecology and Infertility, designed to provide access to publicly available fertility services at secondary care level and to ensure a more sustainable gynaecology service. That work has continued throughout 2021 also.

Minister Donnelly added: “I am delighted that we have invested significantly in the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy in 2021 and will again in 2022 with additional funding of almost €9m for maternity services and over €5 million for gynaecology services. This will ensure the continued implementation of the National Maternity Strategy into 2022 and beyond. As Minister, in line with the commitments made in the Programme for Government to improve Women’s Health outcomes, I want to ensure the ongoing development of safe, high quality, standardised, maternity services which support better health outcomes for women.” - National Women and Infants Health Programme: Annual Report 2020 (