We’ve been told that there will be redundancies, ‘not clinical’ they hastened to add. No, it will be our clerks, those helpful souls who co-ordinate, organise and generally help pull together all the threads within the megastructure which is the NHS. My first reaction was disappointment for myself, I was hoping that I would be made redundant but then the real blow registered, if a clerk isn’t doing the paperwork who will be? Well, it won’t be the managers, unless the paperwork involves ensuring the issuing of an overwhelming number of memo’s, so I have to assume that the tasks are going to be headed toward clinicians. This has been gradually sinking in throughout the day and I am now resorting to alcohol to soften my musings, as earlier I gave in to misery and contemplated different ways in which I could stop being a hamster on a wheel.
Why am I so depressed? Well…….I had planned to retire next year but unfortunately Hubby’s pension is one of the ones that has virtually disappeared over the past few years so I’m sentenced to continue working for at least another 3 years. Why had I wanted to retire, after all I had wanted to be a midwife since I was 17, I used to love the job. Well……midwifery ain’t what it was. The work has become increasingly stressful, the paperwork has increased 5-fold, the goalposts are being moved every other week and the support and appreciation from managers has vanished. This week has been a normal workload, there is not a bulge in my caseload this month (next month is a different matter), so you would imagine that I could have completed all my work related tasks within my contracted working hours. I couldn’t and I didn’t. On 2 of the days I finished 90 minutes late, that’s 3 hours over, one late day was due to having a student out with me who needed her assessment documents completed, the other was because a colleague had to attend a mandatory study session so I had to pick up her visits. On my day off I then spent 3 hours, in the office, trying to organise care for a woman who had presented at 28 weeks pregnant, unbooked and requesting her care be at a hospital outside our area and also completing a social services referral for the unborn child of another woman who has failed to attend 4 antenatal appointments and whose other children are already considered to be ‘at risk’. Both tasks are too important to leave until my next working day and they have to be done by the named midwife.
Now, if in one week I can succeed in spending 6 hours of my own time on work related tasks, I won’t be paid for extra hours, when I have the present level of clerical support, then how much of my own time, how much of my relaxation time am I going to be donating when these ‘savage cuts’ are implemented?