David Ford said: “Nothing can lessen the personal tragedy experienced by the two families who lost loved ones in these incidents. Their losses are made worse by the fact that in one case the external enquiry has failed to find any explanation.
“That is why the decision by the Trust to convene an independent expert enquiry into the full range of maternity services is welcome. The results of the enquiry are also encouraging in many respects.
“Despite the two tragic deaths, it is clear that Antrim Hospital and Causeway Hospital both have safety records which compare well with other maternity units across the UK. The Trust and local people can be reassured by that.
“The independent report also highlights areas for improvement. In particular, there is an overly medical model of maternity care, whereas the best practice across the UK is more about partnerships and giving a proper professional role to midwives. I welcome the commitment by the Trust to implement the recommendations in the report and believe that the result will be further improvements to the services offered in the Northern area.”