News and Events

NPEC Study Day 2018

Join us in the Limerick Strand Hotel on Jnauary 19th 2018 for the NPEC Study Day 2018: Neonatal Care in Ireland 

NPEC Study Day 2018

In Ireland today 0.2% of births occur at home. This rate is slightly lower than the home birth rate in the United States of America (0.7%), much lower than England (2.2%) and Wales (3.1%)and significantly lower than the Netherlands where almost one quarter of births are reported to be in the home. The HSE provides planned home birth services to families choosing this model of maternity care predominantly in association with Self Employed Community Midwives (SECMs), along with three hospital-based services in Cork University Maternity Hospital, Waterford Regional Hospital and the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin.

The Planned Home Births in Ireland Annual Report 2015 report published by the Health Service Executive in collaboration with the National Perintal Epidemiology Centre is to present an overview and national statistics on the home births service provided by SECMs in the Republic of Ireland for the year 2015. The report audits the home birth service by examining both the maternal and fetal outcomes of planned home births, including outcomes whereby the care of the woman is transferred for hospital care antenatally, during labour or postnatally.


Planned Home Births in Ireland Annual Report 2015

Island of Ireland Perinatal Mortality Report 2014 and 2015

National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (NPEC) in collaboration with Northern Ireland Maternal and Child Health office (NIMACH) publishes: Island of Ireland Perinatal Mortality Report 2014 and 2015

This is the first report on perinatal mortality occurring across the Island of Ireland. Comparative data is included on perinatal deaths in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI) arising from live births and stillbirths that occurred in the combined years 2014 and 2015 with a gestational age of 24 weeks or more. Anonymised data from all maternity units was collated and analysed by the NPEC in the ROI and by the NIMACH in NI. 


• There were 182,600 births that were ≥24 weeks gestational age at delivery across the Island of Ireland in 2014-2015. Stillbirths and early neonatal deaths accounted for 753 (66.3%) and 383 (33.7%) of 1,136 perinatal deaths respectively. A further 81 late neonatal deaths occurred.

• The 2014 and 2015 perinatal mortality rate (PMR) for the ROI and NI were similar. The All-Ireland perinatal mortality rate was 6.2 deaths per 1,000 births; adjusted to exclude perinatal deaths due to congenital anomaly, the rate was 3.85 per 1,000 births.

• The 2014 and 2015 stillbirth rate for the ROI was 4.35 per 1,000 births as compared to a rate of 3.50 per 1,000 births for NI. In contrast the neonatal mortality rate in the ROI was lower, at 2.39 per 1,000 live births, compared to NI, at 3.00 per 1,000 live births. The differences in both stillbirth and neonatal death rates between the ROI and NI was found to be statistically significant.
• Major congenital anomaly was the primary cause of perinatal death in both the ROI and NI; present in 24.3% and 63.6% of all stillbirths and neonatal deaths respectively.
• The distribution of customised birth weight centiles was similar in the ROI and NI. Approximately 40% of perinatal deaths were severely small for gestational age (• Across the Island of Ireland, a post-mortem examination was undertaken more often
in stillbirths than in neonatal deaths in 2014 and 2015 - 54% of stillbirths and 40% of neonatal deaths in the ROI and 70% of stillbirths and 33% of neonatal deaths in NI.

Key recommendations:

• Establish a process for biennial reporting on perinatal mortality for the Island of Ireland as a resource to support service improvement, audit and benchmarking
• Improve awareness among professionals of the impact of fetal growth restriction on perinatal mortality. The generation of customised birth weight centile charts for
every woman during pregnancy should be considered.
• A post mortem examination carried out by a specialist pathologist should be offered for all perinatal deaths.

This is the first assessment of Perinatal Mortality across the Island of Ireland. Similarities in factors associated with perinatal death occurring in ROI and NI illustrates the importance of working in a collaborative way in order that we can learn and work together to reduce avoidable perinatal mortality in the future.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the contributors and health care
professionals across the Island of Ireland for providing data to both the NPEC and NIMACH. This report would not be possible without their support and cooperation

Island of Ireland Perinatal Mortality Report 2014 and 2015

NPEC Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) in Ireland 2015

This is the fourth report from the national audit of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in Ireland. It reports on 381 cases of SMM that occurred in 18 of the 19 Irish maternity units in 2015. It also reports on findings from the first national audit of critical care in obstetrics in Ireland. Fifteen of the 19 Irish maternity units contributed to the critical care in obstetric audit in 2015, including two large tertiary referral maternity units and thirteen smaller maternity units.

In 2015, the eighteen participating maternity units reported that 381 women experienced SMM, as defined in this audit, constituting a rate of 6.35 per 1,000 maternities.

Severe Maternal Morbidity Report 2015

National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre

Anu Research Centre, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 5th Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork