WG2 & STSM: Funding for home birth services in Northern Ireland

A related outcome from Dr Maria Healy’s recent STSM award entitled: ‘A detailed exploration of the organisation of home birth services in The Netherlands, towards knowledge transition and development of home birth services in Ireland’ has enabled funding for the development of home birth services in Northern Ireland.

From the 4th – 9th September 2016, Dr Maria Healy (Lecturer in Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast) visited Dr Ank de Jonge and Dr Corine Verhoeven, VU Medical Centre Amsterdam, who hosted and organised the STSM to meet key stakeholders and examine related documentation on the organisation and procedures relating to home birth service provision in the Netherlands.

Planning a home birth is the norm for many women in The Netherlands where the prevalence of home birth has been consistently the highest in Europe for numerous years (de jonge et al., 2015).

In Late September 2016, following Dr Healy’s successful STSM, she applied along with Dr Patricia Gillen (Ulster University) to the Guidelines Audit and Implementation Network (GAIN) in Northern Ireland for funding to develop a regional evidence-based guideline on planning birth at home.

The application was successful and funding  of £13,511.68  was awarded in November 2016. On completion the guideline will assist women, their partners and maternity care professionals in their decision making around planning a home birth.

The work is due to commence in January 2017 with a due date for completion June 2018.

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