In the National Maternity Review. Better Births – Improving outcomes of maternity services in England we read of giving each mother £3000 to cover the cost of the care needed in pregnancy , birth and after care. yet, on the other hand, hospitals now get less than £2000 per birth and the NHS has to make billions of cuts.
However, the Government are indulging in some strange behaviours On the one hand, In the Maternity Review, the midwife is seen as being, in future, the lead professional in each birth and the coordinator of services, yet on the other hand we are desperately short of midwives and bursaries are being cut.
A very clear ratio of births to midwives has been researched shared and agreed but not enough money is provided to employ the midwives.
Midwives are trained at university, working during their course in NHS hospitals. They were given a bursary to cover the cost of the training but that has now been removed, just when we need more midwives
“To train as a midwife, you will need to do an approved degree in midwifery at university. If you are a nurse, you can apply for a shortened 18-month midwifery programme”.
NHS Midwives are professionals, in a supported and informed team with access to world-class back up and opportunities for world class training.
The intensely important needs of mothers and babies are discussed and great ideas put forward in the Maternity Review but the realities of the inadequate and reducing funding/cuts are ignored.
“Maternity care costs the NHS around £2.6 billion in 2012-13, a rising share of the NHS budget”. https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/maternity-rev-tor.pdf
Maternity is one of the most common reasons for being admitted into hospital Advocating home births and births in non-hospital settings is clearly going to save money for the NHS
“issues such as development and support of the midwife through supervision, mentoring and preceptorship are perceived as beneficial, even if there is no clear evidence that they improve clinical outcomes. The developmental and supportive nature of supervision should be preserved along with 24-hour access to clinical decision-making and support. This recognises that well supported and developed staff contribute positively to outcomes for service users (Kings Fund).”
Women do want individual care. Women also want good care for all women and babies
Having a baby at home can be great but even this service is up for privatisation
Small scale privatization of home deliveries is already happening on Merseyside and is spreading out. There is a company called “One to One” midwives
The concept of “one to one care” in pregnancy and childcare is a national one. One to One care can be provided by the NHS in home births, in NHS hospitals, units and in the community. Many such services do exist.
However, there is a shortage of resources in the NHS and a shortage of midwives, obstetrician and neonatal nurses. NHS One to One midwives in Birmingham women’s hospital reported being called in to work in the hospital when the hospital was short of staff. The core issue is shortage of midwives and the inadequate maternity tariff
Most women still choose to give birth in Hospital.
- An uncomplicated home delivery of a baby is a joy to the world. The help of a known and trusted midwife can only add to that joy.
- Labour for many women is far from simple and they would die, or suffer greatly, without medical intervention. Those interventions prevent huge tragedy and allow thousands of mothers and baby to go home safely to begin their great journeys.
Going into labour at home is exciting and daunting. Calling a professionally qualified and experienced midwife who you already know must reduce any anxiety and fear. All Midwives and support staff should put women in labour at their ease, as best they can, but a trusted, familiar face works wonders. One woman described how she scarcely had to speak, either the midwife or her partner, guessed what she wanted, without words.
Walking into a labour ward, in labour is also daunting. Being greeted by a familiar and trusted person must reduce anxiety and fear. Midwives and support staff do put women in labour at their ease as best they can but a trusted familiar face works wonders. One woman described how the midwife shared this intensely personal experience “with the knowledge and kindness of a close and very knowledgeable friend, though we had never met before.”
One to one is something we believe all women in labour need. However, the “One to One” name is locally associated with private for profit companies providing NHS funded care.
The UK needs to spend more on maternity and obstetrics and neo natal services
(Obstetrics is branch of medicine and surgery concerned with childbirth and midwifery)