The National Maternity Bereavement Experience Survey
The first ever survey on maternity bereavement care in Ireland is underway. The survey was developed to ask women and their partners about their experiences of bereavement care following the loss of a baby.
 
The loss of a baby and the grief that follows is one of the most difficult and traumatic journeys women, partners and families can experience. The aim of the survey is to learn from the experiences of bereaved parents by asking them about their experiences of maternity bereavement care, to find out what is working well, and what could be improved in Ireland’s maternity units and hospitals.
 
Women and their partners who have experienced a second trimester miscarriage (from 14 weeks of pregnancy), the stillbirth of a baby or the early neonatal death of a baby in one of Ireland’s 19 maternity units or hospitals between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2012, are being encouraged to complete the survey online at www.yourexperience.ie. Participants are required to have been 16 years of age or older at the time of their loss

There are 99 questions on topics such as communication, labour and birth, postnatal care, bereavement care, discharge and follow-up care in this online survey, as well as free-text questions which allow women and their partners to give additional information and feedback on their personal experience, if they so wish. The survey can be completed up until October 31, 2022.

 

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said, “The loss of a beloved baby during pregnancy, birth or shortly afterwards is a heart-breaking experience. Ensuring that maternity bereavement care available to parents is person-centred and responsive to their needs is vital. 
 
“The National Maternity Bereavement Experience Survey will give us an opportunity to listen to the collective voice of parents to learn about their lived experience of maternity bereavement care in Ireland for the first time”.
 
Minister Donnelly added, “I understand that it may be difficult and emotional for parents who have experienced a pregnancy loss to complete this survey. Their important feedback will help to identify what is working well and areas where improvements are required in the provision of maternity bereavement care”.
 
Director of Health Information and Standards in HIQA, Rachel Flynn, spoke about the positive impact this survey can have in driving improvements in maternity bereavement care in the future.
 “Sadly, every year, babies die during pregnancy, birth or shortly afterwards. This is a devastating and heart-breaking time for parents and their families. We know that many parents wish to talk about their loss as well as the care they received during this difficult time. 
 
“Our aim is to give a voice to parents bereaved by pregnancy loss and pave the way for improvements to the standard and quality of Ireland’s bereavement services.”
 
Clinical Lead for the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme, Dr Cliona Murphy, said: “The loss of a baby before, during or after birth is one of the most devastating events that can happen, having a huge effect on parents and their families. Completing the survey may be difficult, but we are grateful to women and partners willing to share insight into their experiences, as their feedback will help improve the quality of health and social care services delivered in the future”.
 
Women and their partners who have been impacted by any of these issues can contact the Patient Advocacy Service for information and support on 0818 293003 (10am – 4pm) or info@patientadvocacyservice.ie.
 
For more information on the survey, watch the video here brought to you by the National Maternity Bereavement Experience Survey.

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