I propose to take Questions Nos. 362 and 363 together.
Implementation of the National Maternity Strategy is continuing, led by the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP). The Strategy represents a significant development in the delivery of national maternity policy that will fundamentally change how maternity care is delivered in this country.
In 2016, the year the Strategy was launched, development funding of €3m was provided for maternity services. This was followed by increased funding of €6.8m in 2017. In 2018, €4.15m development funding was allocated to the NWIHP to progress the Strategy. Funding of €3.1m is being made available to the NWIHP in 2019 to continue services introduced in 2018, along with an additional €1m funding to further progress the Strategy.
Funding allocated to-date for the Strategy’s implementation, has helped to improve the quality and safety of our maternity services through the recruitment of additional midwives, consultants, theatre staff, ultrasonographers and quality and safety managers, by increasing access to routine anomaly scanning and through the roll-out of the Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System. My Department will continue to work with the NWIHP in 2019 to support the ongoing implementation of the Strategy.