Friday, 18 May 2007

Have just returned from another busy shift where I personally had the privilege of delivering 2
lovely babies (not to the same woman, I hasten to add, although that has been known to happen i.e. Twins)!! It was a very busy shift with too many women and not enough midwives to go round so there I was, in between delivering babies, trying to co-ordinate the labour ward and look for midwives that could have been borrowed from another area when one of the managers strolls on to the ward enquiring if ‘everything was all right and under control’? To which I replied in the negative saying that more staff were needed and that no-one would be having breaks again and certainly would not be able to leave on time (I actually worked that day from 7am til 18.00 when I should have finished at 15.00 – and without a break of any kind. My poor bladder and stomach – no wonder I have so many problems with them these days. One is overfilled and the other is never filled and when it is it cannot cope with what’s put in it.

Anyway, back to the story in question. The only response that I got from the manager was – well, the unit was quiet yesterday and we have to have so many deliveries a day or the unit will be closed!! Yes, yes, we know all that, but it still does not help the situation at the time which is frankly dangerous and could be courting an accident waiting to happen. Women need midwives and they need and deserve midwives that are fresh and able to meet their needs in order to ensure a healthy outcome of the labour and birth. When are managers going to stop just ‘fire fighting’ and look ‘out of the box’, as they are continually spouting to us to do on the shop floor? And ensure that in spite of a tight budget, that there are enough midwives on any shift to give the levels of care that are specified by government and needed so desperately by the women?

Needless to say, the manager did not appear once for the rest of the day and in spite of starting her working day at 9.30, she had gone from her office by 16.30. Yes, it would have been really nice if she could have come to make sure everyone got a break and went home on time!! No-one would mind really except, that when it is documented on our time sheets that we worked extra time, then we are accused of trying to cheat the NHS out of time and or money!! What a laugh – I think the NHS is cheating us out of time and money and worse our health!

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