Where Robin specialises in Mental Health issues, my love is Maternity care. I led a campaign to save Llandough MLU from closure which gained a lot of support from people from all walks of life, however, as we're all aware, the Health Board had already made a decision on this and merely covered over their incompetence with a farcical 'public consultation' of which the outcome would never have been any different.
Are you aware that the Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has released a new document titled 'A Strategic Vision for Maternity Services in Wales' dated September 2011?
This document has given me a really good giggle... I must remember to thank her for that. Besides the laughs it really is a waste of paper. Why? Let me give you a few examples;
- One of the 'key themes for action is to 'promote healthy lifestyles for pregnant women which have a positive impact on them and their family’s health'. I wonder then why the 'Health in Pregnancy' grant has been withdrawn for women 25+ weeks pregnant? This grant was specifically designed to help women afford fruit and vegetables in order to ensure a healthier lifestyle for them whilst pregnant, and thus their babies.
- Another key theme - 'provide a range of high quality choices of care as close to home as is safe and
sustainable to do so, from midwife to consultant-led services'. So in one breath we're providing choices but then in the very next we're only doing so if it is sustainable. Explain sustainable? Sustainable as in cost effective or sustainable as in enough staff to cover the necessary functions? Not really sure!
- Another key theme which actually goes toward answering the above confusion - 'employ a highly trained workforce able to deliver high quality, safe and effective services' - so this means sustainable is indeed about money right? If they're going to ensure the staff are there and trained accordingly then we're basing choices on budgets.
- So now we're into the 'advice' section - 'Alcohol - Advice for women planning a pregnancy is to avoid alcohol in the first 3 months' - all very well and good when you have a midwife booking you in and explaining this, oh wait, that was removed too! Now you don't see anybody until your first 'dating' scan at 10-12weeks (3 months!)
I would love to know who has advised her on this and whether she read it through before publishing it!
The good news is we're stuck with this Government for another 4 years, woohoo!