CATHY Warwick, Chief Executive of Royal College of Midwives, recently visited Downpatrick Midwifery Led unit accompanied by Breedagh Hughes, Director of RCM Northern Ireland Branch, to meet local midwives and hear how services have been progressing since its opening.[caption id="attachment_40510" align="alignleft" width="390"] Pictured during the visit are, back row, Lauren Curran (Midwifery Student), Nuala o Connor (Midwife), Karen Betts (Midwife), Breedagh Hughes (Director, RCM Northern Ireland) Aine Maginn (Sister). Front Row: Eileen McEneaney (Asst. Director Woman & Acute Child Health), Cathy Warwick (Chief Executive RCM) & Briege Halleron (Midwife).[/caption]
The Midwifery Led Unit (MLU) was opened in Downpatrick on the 22 March 2010, the first stand-alone Midwifery Unit in Northern Ireland. Staff were delighted to have the opportunity to share their progression from 55 births in the first year through to 101 births last year and to provide ante-natal and post-natal care for more than 1200 women.
Eileen McEneaney, Assistant Director for Woman and Acute Child Health welcomed the visit and said: “The Trust is very proud of the midwives, health care assistants, maternity support workers and admin support staff who provide this excellent service to women and their families in the Down area.
“Without exception, every woman who has delivered her baby in this modern unit reports high levels of satisfaction about her experience. Cathy Warwick was particularly positive about our transfer rates which are lower than in similar units in England and Wales. This is evidence of the experienced midwives we have working in the area.
“The Trust is committed to and supportive of this service for the Downe Hospital and we would ask every pregnant woman in the area to come and have a look at the unit and talk to our team of midwives about the experience of birthing in the Midwifery Led Unit.”