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The Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise (MRHP) is among the first of the smaller maternity units in Ireland to offer this  anatomy scanning service to women who booked to attend the maternity services.

An anatomy scan is typically performed between 18 and 22 weeks and provides a structural assessment of the baby allowing the parents a more detailed view of their baby. Referral to the anatomy service is arranged by the woman’s consultant obstetrician following the booking visit to the hospital and is strictly by appointment only.

In 2017, the number of mothers delivered in MRHP was 3 per cent ahead of expected activity, with 1,531 babies born last year.

Maureen Revilles, Director of Midwifery at the MRHP, claimed that this move was another step in the right direction towards providing enhanced maternity care for the women of the Midlands, demonstrating the advancing role of the midwife as part of the multidisciplinary team providing the best maternity care to women.

“The establishment of the anatomy scanning service is critical to the developments planned to enhance services and choice for women attending the maternity services and is aligned to the objectives identified by the National Maternity Strategy”, Michael Knowles, General Manager, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise commented.

He added; “We have undertaken a substantial body of work to enhance and develop maternity services and we are really pleased to announce this new service.  I would like to acknowledge the work of the entire hospital team but in particular the midwifery staff”.

The service was secured following substantial investment by the hospital and Dublin Midlands Hospital Group to fund the equipping of a newly refurbished ultrasound room. Through the managed clinical network the Coombe Women Infants University Hospital supported the facilitation of the training of a midwife ultrasonographer.

Michael O’Connell, Clinical Director for Integration, Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and Portlaoise Hospital described the project as an important development in advancing maternity care for women that forms a key component of our continued quality improvement for maternity services.