The Maternal Mortality Working Group in Ireland was established in July 2007 with the stated objective of linking Ireland with the UK based Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths (CEMD). Chaired by Dr Michael O’ Hare, the working group is a joint Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists/HSE initiative.

Role of the Maternal Mortality in Ireland Working Group

  • To promote and support the development of MDE Ireland and its participation with the UK CEMD.
  • To advise on the confidential enquiry process in the context of Ireland.

Membership of the group includes representation from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the HSE (Quality and Patient Safety Directorate and the Department of Public Health), the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, the College of Anaesthetists, the State Claims Agency and the MDE Ireland Coordinator. To assist in the remit of the Working Group, expertise from other professional organisations is invited periodically to advise members on specific topics when required. 

Membership of the Institute of Obstetricians  the Working Group on Maternal Mortality:

Dr Michael F O’Hare, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (Chairman).

Prof Richard Greene, Director of National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Prof Colm O’Herlihy, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science.

Dr John Loughrey, Director of Obstetric Anaesthesia services at The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.

Dr Karen Robinson, Clinical Risk Advisor, Clinical Indemnity Scheme.

Dr Fionnuala Cooney, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE East.

Ms Deirdre Daly, Midwifery Lecturer, Trinity College Dublin.

Ms Ursula Byrne, Education Officer, An Bord Altranais.

Ms Sheila Sugrue, National Lead Midwife.

Ms Helen Byrne, Paediatric Lead, Quality and Patient Safety Directorate,

Health Service Executive (HSE).

Role of the MDE Ireland Coordinator

This role includes co-ordination of the maternal death enquiry process within Ireland, liaising with the UK enquiry and dissemination of MDE recommendations.  The anonymisation of all documentation and the secure storage of confidential information submitted to MDE Ireland is also the responsibility of the MDE coordinator.  Development and maintenance of a strong professional network within Ireland in order to gain a comprehensive ascertainment of maternal deaths is an integral part of this role. 

MDE Coordinator 

Multidisciplinary assessors are clinicians who work independently of MDE Ireland but contribute to the maternal death enquiry. Nominated assessors bring a broad range of expertise to the maternal death enquiry including experts from the following disciplines: Obstetrics, Midwifery, Anaesthetics and Perinatal Psychiatry. Key selection criteria for assessors are set out by MDE Ireland and nominations are made by the relevant faculties.

Role of the MDE Ireland Assessors

The role of Irish multidisciplinary assessors is to review maternal death cases and identify key areas of substandard care or avoidable factors in the management of the woman.

Irish assessors contribute to the assessment of maternal death cases from any of the participating nations in the UK based CEMD, led by MBRRACE-UK. Within this later role, Irish assessors are required to comply with all MBRRACE-UK policy on confidentiality and may be called upon to contribute to MBRRACE-UK report writing.

Within the UK based CEMD, specialty review specific to the clinical circumstances of each case may include experts from Emergency Care, Critical Care, Primary Care and other relevant medical disciplines. 

Obstetric Assessor 

Midwifery Assessors 

Pathology Assessor 

Psychiatric Assessor 

Anaesthetic Assessor 

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