Ireland’s first ever National Maternity Survey launched by Minister for Health Simon Harris TD

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Ireland’s first ever survey of maternity services will take place in early 2020, Minister for Health Simon Harris announced today.

A joint initiative by HIQA, the HSE and the Department of Health, the National Maternity Survey will ask women who have recently given birth about their experiences of Ireland’s maternity services. 

Minister Harris was speaking at the inaugural National Patient Experience Survey conference in Dublin Castle, attended by over 300 health professionals. The conference focused on the patient and how HIQA, the HSE and the Department of Health can learn from the experiences of patients to bring about real improvements in the quality of hospital care.

Attendees heard from the Executive Director of Sláintecare, Laura Magahy, who stressed the importance of putting service users and citizens at the heart of healthcare reform. She also outlined how her commitment to championing and expanding the use of national patient surveys.

Commenting at today’s conference, HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn said: “This is an exciting venture and will, for the first time, give new mothers the opportunity to share their views of Ireland’s maternity services. Their feedback will provide an invaluable insight into the experiences of women who give birth in Ireland and help us to improve the quality and safety of Irish maternity services." 

Director of the National Patient Experience Survey, Rachel Flynn, added: “In August of last year, HIQA commenced a programme of monitoring against the National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services. All nineteen maternity units in public hospitals will have been inspected against the National Standards by the end of this year. The National Maternity Survey is another key building block in the development of a maternity service that is responsive to the needs of women and their families, ensuring that they are treated with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.”

The National Maternity Survey follows on from the success of the National Patient Experience Survey, which will run this May for the third year in succession. So far, over 26,000 patients across the country have taken part, submitting over 40,000 comments — making it the largest survey of its kind in the country.


For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
(01) 8147480 / 086 2447623 

Notes to the editor

  • The National Maternity Survey will capture the experiences of new mothers from prenatal and antenatal care through to postnatal care. 
  • Women aged 16 years of age or older who give birth during the survey period will be invited to participate in the survey approximately three months after the birth of their baby.
  • The National Patient Experience Survey and the National Maternity Survey come under the umbrella of the National Care Experience Programme — a new, overarching partnership by HIQA, the HSE and the Department of Health. 
  • By 2021, the remit of the National Care Experience Programme will expand to survey two further areas in the health and social care sector.
  • The National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services were published by HIQA in December 2016 to support the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy, launched by the Minister for Health in January 2016. 
  • The results of the 2018 National Patient Experience Survey were published in November 2018. Find out more about the results by watching our short animation, or by visiting