I am aware that there are a number of midwifery-led units operating in Northern Ireland. In that regard the Deputy may wish to note that the National Maternity Strategy, Creating A Better Future Together, 2016 – 2026 was informed by an international literature review. That review involved an analysis of the strategic approaches to maternity services in seven jurisdictions, including Northern Ireland.
In addition, the Maternity Strategy Steering Group received presentations from Dr Paul Fogarty, Senior Vice President, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists in relation to A Strategy for Maternity Care in Northern Ireland, 2012-2018, and from Ms Polly Ferguson, Nursing Officer Maternity Services and Early Years in relation to A Strategic Vision for Maternity Services in Wales (2011) and heard at first hand how those Strategies were developed. Both of those strategies supported the principle of midwifery led care for pregnant women deemed to be at normal risk, and that principle now underpins our National Maternity Strategy which was published in 2016.