I read the NCTS’s research, Location, location, location and felt moved to email them. Here it is, will they reply? Will anyone out there stop the pressure and allow maternity services to make CONSIDERED changes rather than perform ill-judged and poorly planned knee-jerk reactions?
As a community midwife I know that your organisation is represented on local MLSC’s so you must appreciate the constraints which many Trusts are placing on local maternity services. In my area we do offer women ‘real choice’, homebirth, MLU or obstetric unit, but in reality it is the midwives who are allowing these choices to be offered by giving of their own time. Government make promises to the public and allocate monies but then tell trusts that they have to make cuts and, even though the maternity service is within budget, cuts are made within that service.
A snapshot. Locally we are now being told that home visits by midwives following birth will be phased out, with women having to attend drop-in clinics. I think this is a backward step and ultimately will have a more adverse impact than women not having choice in place of birth. The community service is about to lose 2 midwives on maternity leave, we have been told that there will be no cover as the trust cannot afford it. As it is I find myself donating over a day a month to cover my workload, and I am not alone. I can now look forward to more work time being unpaid as the team attempt to pick up 2 WTE’s work over the next year.
I read research like ‘Location, location, location’ and my heart sinks as I know there will be more pressure on midwives. Midwives, not managers, not heads of trusts and not government but midwives, on the coal face attempting to fulfill expectations with no support, just more demands.
You can read more of my thoughts on todays midwifery and the mismanagement of the maternity services on http://www.midwifemuse.wordpress.com