Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Lies and More Lies

Have been away for a while hence no posting on the site. Whilst away, I have been able to keep up to date with the horror stories about women and maternity problems. More of the same really with article after article both in newspapers and magazines, written by journalists who are women and women who have received care from NHS midwives as opposed to independent midwives. On and on it goes, more of the same, how awful it was, how good it was blah blah blah – but do you know what? Nothing from the midwives or if there was it was very little and either very badly written or very badly expressed verbally.

Take today for instance. The Government have announced that every woman by the end of year 2009 will have a named midwife who will see them through from the beginning of the pregnancy and until after the baby is born. Women will have a choice where they will have their babies – home, hospital or midwife led units. This, apparently, is guaranteed. Funny, the government have been saying this since 1993 when Changing Childbirth was launched and which was heralded as being a revolutionary leap forward in terms of midwifery care for women and a return to the way midwives should be working professionally. Needless to say, this has not come to fruition – why? No money for maternity services and no midwives to run the service.

So, this pledge from the government is more of the same – there’s still no money and there are definitely no midwives. Midwives are qualifying and are not able to get jobs because of cut backs. There are only a few and I mean a few, like possibly 4, midwife led units, home births although encouraged, actually, in a lot of trusts do not happen because there are not enough midwives to be spared out of the maternity unit to attend these births so women have to come into the hospital. As for promising a woman a bed for the night, well that is another empty promise unless she wants to share it with a woman who has just had a hysterectomy or worse some poor woman in her 80’s with dementia. Yes, maternity units have to give up their beds in times of acute shortage to accommodate ill people because in the NHS a bed is a bed is a bed.

What does the midwifery profession do about this? Not a fat lot. No-one is prepared to speak the truth and tell the world what it is really like. Dame Karlene Davies, president of the Royal College of Midwives had an excellent opportunity to tell it like it really was on the BBC news today at lunch time. Instead, she rambled and shuffled and spoke a load of nonsense about Trusts, PCT’s, SHA’s etc.etc. But at no time did she actually say that this promise was in no way or truth, deliverable. She made herself, and worse, the midwifery profession, look like a useless lump of spineless hot air and totally without integrity. Totally unconvincing. Sue MacDonald, also from the RCM did not do a lot better either.

Come on RCM – you are supposed to be leading the profession. Speak up now before it’s too late and stop deluding yourselves and worse the women you are supposed to serving.

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