New clinical guidelines in obstetrics and gynaecology launched

Important resource for healthcare professionals

Deborah Condon

January 27, 2023

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  • A new suite of clinical practice guidelines in obstetrics and gynaecology have been launched by the HSE, with the aim of promoting a standardised approach to care nationwide.

    The guidelines offer the latest in evidence-based clinical recommendations for women being cared for by maternity and gynaecology services, covering 12 topics including  stillbirth, recurrent miscarriage, vaginal birth after caesarean section, post-menopausal bleeding and stress urinary incontinence.

    Each new guideline is accompanied by a summary document which aims to provide healthcare professionals with an easy reference guide, as well as a plain language summary, which explains in a simple format the impact the new guideline will have on women’s care.

    The guidelines are a programme of work agreed between the HSE’s National Women and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP) and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The work was led by Prof Keelin O’Donoghue, clinical lead for the National Clinical Practice Guidelines, and was supported by programme manager, Nicolai Murphy.

    According to Prof O’Donoghue, clinical practice guidelines assist healthcare professionals, service users, policymakers and other stakeholders “to make informed decisions about health practice, public health and health policy”.

    “Clinicians also need up-to-date and reliable resources to keep up their knowledge and guidelines are important to address this need,” she noted.

    The importance of clinical guidelines was also acknowledged by Dr Cliona Murphy, who is clinical director at the HSE’s National Women and Infants Health Programme.

    “They are an important resource for doctors, midwives and allied health professionals who are committed to delivering safe and respectful quality care. I am particularly pleased to see plain language documents also produced, which are essential for shared decision making in our maternity and women’s health services,” she commented.

    This first suite of guidelines can be viewed here. They are set to be followed up with over 30 updated clinical practice guidelines during 2023 and 2024.

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