Oh wow, I have dreamed about it, winged about the endless repetition of paperwork and now Liverpool have finally realised how time-saving a computer could be and are providing 75 laptops to their community midwives. Do I think that my Trust will be this foresighted, absolutely no way. We would have to have a manager prepared to fight for the best options for her staff and, as we have an absolutely ineffective, blinkered, wet-weekend ‘leading’ us, who can’t even ensure that there are enough midwives, then believing that we could be bought into the computer age is just a pipe-dream.
I know, I’m sounding bitter, well I am. For a year now we have been functioning (that’s a joke) one and a half midwives down, there should be 7.5 of us, there are 5. This has all sorts of ramifications, obviously everyone’s workload is increased, we are all having to cover extra clinics, this means that our travelling times and costs are higher and it means we each have more on-call commitments. Due to the increased work we are all doing extra hours, but we don’t get paid for it, we are supposed to claim time-owing, how ridiculous is that, we are working extra because there are not enough midwives to cover the work, how do we take the time back?
Whilst I’m being a ‘grumpy old woman’ I shall muse upon the G.P’s I work with total inability to read, or act upon, any communication I have with them. This time they are also displaying a total ignorance of the NICE guidelines on Antenatal Care, despite the fact that they receive them from The National Institute, I’ve personally given each of them a laminated copy and I’ve sent them E-Mails about them. Usually I just grin and bear it but this week their disregard has meant that 4 women have been added to end of my clinic list, that means at least an extra hour, probably more like and hour and a half. The guidelines recommend the timings of antenatal visits, ‘my’ G.P’s only see their pregnant women at 25 weeks and 38 weeks and often not even at these times, all the other visits are with either the consultant or myself, they are hardly swamped by providing care in pregnancy. Two of my ‘extras’ this week are 39 weeks, they saw the G.P last week, I caught up with one of the Docs and asked what his concerns were about the women, he hasn’t got any, he just thought that they should be seeing a midwife every week. I have now given him another copy of the schedule of visits.