A PUBLIC MEETING will be held in Wexford today in order to defend the Domino maternity scheme at Wexford General Hospital.
It’s claimed that midwives at the hospital have been told to ‘quietly’ withdraw the service, which allows for home births and a midwife-led antenatal clinic.
Margeurite Hannon, who represents both the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Service (AIMS Ireland) and the Home Birth Association of Ireland, told TheJournal.ie that she has spoken to a midwife from the maternity unit at Wexford General Hospital, who said that the Domino service is being withdrawn.
Hannon said that the withdrawal is taking place with immediate effect, and that there is to be no phasing out of the service, and that many of the mothers who have signed up to the Domino scheme have not yet been notified.
The scheme allows pregnant women to access a midwifery-led service, which means that consultant appointments are not necessary. Mothers who give birth under the Domino scheme are released from hospital sooner, often on the day of the birth, or they can opt for a home birth.
Hannon said that midwives in the hospital want to try to retain the midwife-led clinic, and that the service should be maintained as it saves money and offers the “proper and professional care” that pregnant women need.
Earlier this week it was reported in the Wexford People that Wexford General Hospital is €2 million over budget, and that a range of cost-cutting measures are being introduced.
Last month Wexford TD and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced €20 million in funding for a new emergency department and labour delivery suite at Wexford General, reports the Medical Independent.
Wexford is one of four hospitals in Ireland to offer the Domino/Community Midwives Scheme. It’s available at the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, the Rotunda Hospital, and at Waterford Regional Hospital.
A request for information on the Domino Scheme at Wexford General Hospital has not yet been returned, while the Department of Health could not be reached for comment today.