Maternity mistakes 'must be discussed'
Maternity patients should be given the opportunity to meet with a senior doctor or nurse to discuss what happened after an adverse incident has occurred, the patient safety watchdog Hiqa has recommended.
It said all staff who provide maternity care should also feel protected to disclose information about actual and potential patient safety incidents, and be supported to participate honestly and openly in all review and investigation processes.
The rights are contained in wide-ranging new draft standards for safer, better maternity services which are now out for public consultation by Hiqa in the wake of a series of controversies, including the tragic deaths of babies in Portlaoise Hospital.
Hiqa chief executive Phelim Quinn said: "Women should have appropriate access to the right level of maternity care at any given time."
"We hope that these standards will build confidence in Irish maternity services," he added.
Another proposed standard recommends that all staff should be aware of the psychological issues associated with perinatal death and pregnancy loss.
A symbol indicating such a loss has occurred should be placed in a ward after discussion with parents. Parents should also be told about the benefits of a post-mortem.
The draft national standards are available for public consultation for an eight-week period, until 5pm on May 16.
The consultation form can be completed online at: http://hiqa.polldaddy.com/s/draft-maternity-standards-consultation.