Defend NHS Maternity Services National Meeting Report 1.

Rebecca Smythe Senior lecturer in Midwifery Opening our National Meeting.
Video courtesy of Phil Maxwell and Hazuan Hashim

Maternity services in the NHS are over stretched and underfunded. Maternity Units are under threat or closing across the land. Temporary closures are common. Staff are keeping the service afloat so most mothers and babies are still safely delivered.But serious damage is now showing in the research from Liverpool University into deaths of babies in the UK, especially in areas of high poverty.

On 5th October 2019 October we met at the Friends meeting house in Liverpool to discuss the national state of the maternity services. We gathered people to hear Professor Wendy Savage, eminent doctor, Jessica Ormerod Researcher, from Public Matters, and Rayah Feldman from Maternity Action. We started with this video from Rebecca Smythe who teaches Midwifery in Manchester and was once a midwife at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and at Mill Road Hospital . Rebecca spoke of the realities and the hopes of mid wives and student midwives.

This was our agenda

Aims To discuss the state of NHS maternity services nationally and to work out how to improve them, including how to involve women, staff , the wider  trade union movement, and the public in this campaign

Agenda for the day

10-11am Registration, coffee


11.00 Chair’s welcome & order of the day

11.05-11.15 – Video message from Rebecca Smyth, senior lecture in midwifery, SLWH campaign (sadly  Rebecca is out of the country, hence the video message) dealing with issues facing midwives

11.15 -11.40 – Professor Wendy Savage (including the battle for a women-centred NHS)

11.40-12 –Jessica Ormerod (‘Better Births’ & the Cumberledge agenda, Rhetoric v Reality)

12- 12.45 – Q & A & discussion from the floor with the panel

12.345-1.30 LUNCH –lunch provided, some flexibility to shorten if running late


1.30.-2 00pm Chair introduces Rayah Feldman, Maternity Action campaign on migrant charges

2- pm 2.50 – Breakout groups discussing  

Campaigning successes 

Reaching wider audiences

What next

2.50-3.10 Tea break

3.15- Building the campaign to defend and improve NHS maternity services, improve women’s health care services, defend infant and child health services and defend and reinstate the NHS4.00 Chair’s close & thanks

We will share reports from the rest of the meeting over the next few days

The NHS comes from the People and belongs to the People

A year ago Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign held our second demonstration. We campaign for our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and lovers and for each and every baby. We campaign for a fully funded NHS, for improved healthcare for women and babies and for the hospital to remain open and on its existing garden site.

Continue reading “The NHS comes from the People and belongs to the People”

Maternity Care is for the mother and baby, it is no place to be making profit.

Women can give birth at home in Liverpool using the NHS.

There is no sane case for commissioning another private for profit Maternity provider. This idea of bringing in yet another for profit provider was raised, in passing, at a health and social care select committee meeting in Liverpool this week. It follows the One to One company closing and causing significant hardship to pregnant women and to the midwives working for them.

Continue reading “Maternity Care is for the mother and baby, it is no place to be making profit.”

Speak up even if your voice breaks

Speak out for the NHS. Speak out for proper funding, proper staffing, decent buildings and for democratic control. Democracy means the government of the people, for the people by the people, with the right to speak out and speak up. The NHS, it is said, will last as long as there are people prepared to fight for it. Good care is still provided in may aspects of the NHS but the system is suffering significant damage. If enough of us speak out and mobilise in our workplaces and communities, we can save and improve the NHS. This is no time for despair or helplessness.

Continue reading “Speak up even if your voice breaks”