What is happening with maternity care? Everyday we read about the possibility of Chase Farm Hospital closing and now this Midwife Mayhem story appears in the local paper.
I gave birth to my twins Poppy and Harry in Chase Farm Hospital on April 17th this year and can tell you that a midwife’s lot does not appear to be a happy one.
What I noticed from my first hand experience in hospital was that midwives are working an exhausting 12 hour shift. They have to be extremely flexible and have great endurance. For example the midwife that helped me through labour came on shift at 7.30pm expecting to be on the general ward looking after 30+ pregnant women (a feat in itself) and ended up supporting me through labour up to 4am without a break! I’m sure the EU would have something to say about that.
There is a lack of stability and every day is different. Other Labour wards such as Barnet could be closed for a night creating more work in Chase Farm (this is a common occurrence) or indeed Chase Farm Labour unit could close and make for a quieter day for the midwives.
Imagine being 9 months pregnant and going into labour. You phone Chase Farm Labour Ward and they tell you that they are closed. How scary is that? You have received all your ante natal treatment there and are then told to contact another labour ward in another hospital such as Barnet or North Middlesex hospitals but there are no guarantees that they will be open either.
I only managed to have my babies after waiting 3 days to be induced because Chase Farm’s Labour Ward was closed to new admissions on that Saturday night.
Sickness levels appeared to be high causing strain on the staff who are working, this clearly affects staff morale. All the uncertainty that surrounds our local hospital and the care that they provide is affecting morale which in itself contributes to staff being sick.
I received fantastic ante natal, labour and post natal care in Chase Farm Hospital despite the apparently terrible organisation of the care trust and this is due to the committed staff.
I want clarity from our politicians in simple terms so we understand what is being proposed. It is a hot potato that our back bencher MPs are not leading on.