Posts Tagged ‘RCM’

Christmas Day came and went. Absolutely frenetic, much wrapping paper, steam, yes steam is my major impression of Christmas Day because of all those pots bubbling away, full glass of red wine over my oatmeal coloured carpet and then peace when all the little people were asleep.

Work was busy and foggy with numerous offers of mince pies. I have been desperately trying to ‘book’ a newly pregnant woman, twice we have made appointments and she has phoned minutes before them to cancel, I almost know her phone number off by heart now as I’ve rung her so many times to reschedule but been met by her voicemail. She has left me a message to tell me that she needs to see me before her scan, I KNOW, but when I return the call guess what, voicemail. Hubby is now getting annoyed with it as I am always phoning her, yes on my days off. Get up in the morning, phone. In the car on the way to the DIY store (we are going to decorate and put down a new floor in the shower-room), phone. Cooking dinner, phone. As I was so desperate to speak to the woman I’ve been leaving my work phone on, bad mistake as I keep having to answer it. Swine flu, that is the number 1 topic. Last year I was quite reticent on advising women to have it, I gave them the info and told them to make up their own minds, this year I am swaying toward the ‘it’s probably a good idea’ stance. In my mind I feel somewhat happier about reinforcing the party-line as the vaccine has been around for a year, babies have been born to Mums who had the jab last year, and so far I have not been made aware of any adverse outcomes as a result of it. Next in the things to phone your midwife about is ‘I’ve got a cough, what can I take?’ Now, presumably these coughing ladies will have to go to a pharmacy to purchase the medications I suggest, how about asking the pharmacist? I have recollections of an ad campaign encouraging people to speak to the pharmacist and chemists now have a ‘consulting room’ for that purpose, why ask a midwife when there is a highly trained person who is far better placed to advise?  One of the phone calls was from Children Services asking me if I had seen someone, who I had never heard of, and who there was a meeting about on Thursday. Oh b****r, my heart dropped. After much questioning it turned out that they were giving me the name of her child, who has a different surname to her, my shoulders relaxed. Yes, I knew her, I had seen her, she was ‘co-operating’ with the maternity services but no, I couldn’t come to the meeting as I don’t work that day and, where usually I will attend these meeting if possible on a day off, that is one of the days when I have the boys and they hadn’t given me enough notice to rearrange childcare. Had they got a creche? No. Now I’m consumed with guilt, female thing, but they really should either give more notice or consult with ALL parties on when is a convenient time.

Homebirths are in the news again, apparently doctors are trying to put women off them. Why are the RCM and NCT suddenly getting hot under the collar about this, doctors have always tried to put women off them. When I say ‘doctors’ I actually mean G.P’s, obstetricians, well the ones locally, are supportive as long as the woman fits the criteria for a homebirth, i.e the pregnancy is low-risk. Cathy Warwick, RCM leader, calls for a ‘seismic shift’ in the maternity services and recognises that midwives are unable to offer choice. Sorry, Ms Warwick but we do offer choice around here, and the rest of the service suffers as a result. Yes, we need a shift, seismic or otherwise, but something definitely needs to happen, and soon and not just to enable more women to have a home birth but to allow that to happen without depriving other women of the care they deserve and putting midwives under so much pressure of work that they leave.

So, on this last day of 2010, I wish everyone a wonderful 2011. My resolutions? To carry on with my diet, I have lost over a stone, and lose the 3lbs I have put on over Christmas! To allocate some ‘me time’. 



Read Full Post »


This has been a week where the papers have been full of the crisis in the maternity services, from the shortage of midwives, to David Cameron back-tracking on his pledges, to women being so traumatised by their first birth experience that they will not be having another baby, to women having never clapped eyes before on the midwife who accompanied them through labour and birth and through to the ‘postcode lottery’ surrounding caesarean section rates and other aspects of maternity care.

Cathy Warwick, the General Secretary of the RCM (Royal College of Midwives) gave a speech at conference this week which painted a hugely demoralising, depressing and, frankly, scary picture of the state of the maternity services. Her speech was sprinkled with phrases like ‘ cracking point’, ‘ safety could be compromised’, ‘so stretched it risks safety’ and ‘bewildered’. Well Ms Warwick, you hold the key, you are the union chief so stop prevaricating and issue a few ultimations as it’s quite obvious that the gently, gently approach is not going to halt the collapse of the maternity services.

I’m finding all this quite interesting, this most public of admissions regarding the safety of the maternity services. Midwives talk to each other, especially at conferences and exhibitions and we have just had our annual conference, and currently there are rumours circulating regarding a case where a Trust is busy sanctioning staff for putting updates on a social networking site. The midwives had questioned the safety of the care they were able to provide, now they are accused of bringing the Trust into disrepute. How is it that Ms Warwick is able to shout from the rooftop that the maternity services are ‘at breaking point’ but that practising midwives are currently under scrutiny for allowing acquaintances to share in their desperation and concerns?

Read Full Post »

I received an e-mail this week. NMC, RCM, NHS and Alan Johnson, I hope you all feel ashamed of yourselves. 

Hi, I’m really glad I found your blog. I’m a student midwife (ish) I wish
that someone would have told me beforehand that the midwifery you read about
isn’t the reality.
I think you often get glimpses of the midwifery you’d love to practice but
in reality…its paperwork, targets, interventions (did i mention
interventions?) Its like working on massive a conveyer belt in a factory
whilst jumping through hoops. which are on fire!
I’m on a 6 month break from the course after 2 years because I couldn’t cope
with the impossible situation I was put in and the complete lack of support
I am due to go back early next year, unsure whether I should. I dont see
anything changing now or in the future and its such a shame.
I love midwifery in its true form, so maybe if I can hang in there long
enough Ill get to see it one day, in some part of the world?
being a student feels like being a new mum! but really…’no one tells you
its going to be like this’ 🙂

best wishes,

disheartened student!

Read Full Post »