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Case Study: National Training Programme for Maternity Care Staff

The HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP), in collaboration with Women’s Aid, offered access for staff across the 19 maternity units to a structured half day online training programme. It built the capacity of staff to address the issue of domestic abuse.

The training focused on recognising and responding to domestic abuse and is for maternity care staff who, in their professional capacity, interact with victims/survivors of domestic abuse. This training contained the foundational knowledge and built the skills to appropriately respond to women subjected to abuse.

Domestic abuse presents a serious and high risk to public health and wellbeing, particularly for women during pregnancy, and to mother and child immediately after birth. Healthcare professionals need to be alert to symptoms and signs of domestic abuse and be equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond safely and effectively to victims/survivors.

Maternity care staff have a distinct opportunity to support victims/survivors of domestic abuse during their care journey. The training is designed to build capacity so that staff are empowered to ask women questions regarding potential domestic abuse, and to respond appropriately including with information about the specialist domestic abuse services available.

Women’s Aid Training Participant Feedback

Thanks so much for the very informative presentation today. It will be invaluable to my practice as a midwife and I have already highly recommended this training to a number of my colleagues from newly qualified midwives to members of the obstetric led team.

The half day online session was delivered in the first 6 months of 2023 in all hospital group areas in Ireland and was coordinated by NWHIP.

Women’s Aid Training Participant Feedback

I feel more confident in recognising and directly addressing a possible DV concern. The examples on how to communicate more effectively and directly will be very beneficial to my practice as a midwife.