As far as I can see we are now going into the realms of some horribly distorted fantasy with regard to costcutting in the Maternity Services. Today I was told that there are no, none, delivery packs. Interesting one that. Instead we are to use a vaginal examination pack as our equipment when we are at a homebirth. In a delivery pack:-
- 1 bowl 500mls (cleansing the perineum)
- 1 cord clamp ( for baby’s cord )
- 10 cotton wool balls (extra large) (wiping ‘bits’ down)
- 1 green wrap 75 x 110cms ( for putting under the woman )
- 1 gallipot ( useful little receptacle for KY )
- 1 dressing pad ( for when the baby is out )
- paper crepe 100 x 150cm ( wraps everything up )
- pulp kidney dish ( if she vomits )
- 4 x swab 10 x 10 cms ( cleaning up so you can see if suturing is required )
- Quilted paper baby wrap ( giving baby a good wipe over )
- plastic tray ( for the placenta )
All this is sterile so you hope you are not introducing any bugs into the immediate area. In a vaginal examination pack:-
- 1 bowl 250mls
- 5 cotton wool balls ( small )
- 1 gallipot
- 1 paper crepe 40 x 40 cms
I think there might be a few problems here but what the hell, it’s saving the Trust money. That’s a relief, they might have had to get rid of a few managers. Probably just one really would have saved them the amount of money they will save by, once again, devolving all their cuts down to where the work happens with the people who require the equipment because one of them is having a baby ( it is the MATERNITY services after all ) and the other one is crawling around on her hands and knees helping a new life come into the world. Yes I am cross, seething and absolutely incredulous that things have come to this hand-to-mouth way of providing care to women.
The items on the list may not seem terribly important but they are there for a reason. Okay, with the exception of the cord clamp not having them is not life-endangering but what it boils down to is that you don’t have useful bits to hand and when you are in the middle of helping a woman give birth, or trying to see where bleeding is coming from, or kneeling there with a placenta in your hands you don’t have the hands or the the time to ferret around looking for a suitable receptacle or a pack of sterile gauze. In a delivery pack was a small selection of useful items. If things start happening quickly, or you arrive just as the baby is arriving the woman’s partner can open the one pack whilst you put your gloves on and you are ready. Now it will be just be farcical, stressful for the midwife and hardly a relaxing experience for the Dad as he delves through a bag trying to find the pack you are asking for.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot in all the excitement of no packs, we won’t be carrying oxygen cylinders either. Lets all just sit around and have a little chuckle about that one.