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Case for new maternity strategy clear and urgent, say Alliance representatives

Alliance representatives have said the case for a new maternity strategy learning from the pandemic is clear and urgent.

It follows on from work already being done on a new perinatal mental health delivery model.

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA said a new maternity strategy was long overdue.

"We have already waited three years and the pandemic only reinforces the need to build back better on the basis of an overarching framework for innovative service delivery and workforce planning.

“I have welcomed the funding for a new perinatal mental health delivery model, but this too merely re-emphasises why an overall strategy is necessary.

“The Royal College of Midwives has outlined clearly that much has changed since the last strategy. Women are giving birth later in life, the midwifery workforce is itself older than it was, higher numbers are requesting birth at home, and there is a lot of learning to be carried over from the pandemic and integrated into current service delivery and training for the workforce of the future."

Alliance Mid Ulster representative Claire Hackett said urgent work was needed.

“The case is clear efforts on a strategy should proceed as soon as possible, and form a fundamental part of the ongoing restoration of services and overall reform of health and social care, with service users' input playing a central role,” she said.