Putting mothers and babies first
FOR the 1st
time, mothers-to-be will have a guarantee that the NHS will provide
them with a full range of birthing choices - including home births -
and a midwife they know and trust to care for them, said Health
Secretary Patricia Hewitt.
'Maternity Matters' , the new maternity strategy, has been
developed in close consultation with key professionals from the
Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists, other royal colleges, and the voluntary sector.
The strategy sets out a new national choice guarantee. By the end of
2009, women will be able to have:
choice of how to access maternity care - women will be able
to go directly to a midwife or via a doctor
choice of type of antenatal care - women will be able to
choose between midwifery care or care led by both doctors and
choice of place of birth - depending on their medical history
and circumstances, women and their partners will be able to choose
between home births, or giving birth in a midwifery unit or with
midwives and doctors in hospital
choice of place of postnatal care - women will be able to
chose how and where to access postnatal care.
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said:- "There is nothing more
important for any family than bringing a new baby into the world.
We have carefully listened and will respond to what women and their
families have told us they want from maternity services. We have
also listened to the professionals, especially midwives and
obstetricians, to ensure that the service will be safe. 'Maternity
Matters' is the result of that process.
Our commitment is to deliver "gold standard" maternity
services for women. In practice, this will mean that care is
designed around the needs of women and their partners from the very
beginning of pregnancy through to providing much better and more
personal post-natal care. The new plan offers minimum
guarantees about the level of services that women should expect and
which will be used as levers to drive up standards across the
country to the levels of the very best.
We know from a recent survey on maternity services that more than 4
out of 5 women described the staff that looked after them as "supportive".
We want to build on this so that women truly feel they have a world
class standard of service offered to them during their whole
pregnancy and that they feel supported, listened to and in control."
Professor Allan Templeton, President of the Royal College of
Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said:- "The Royal
College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists welcomes the publication
of Maternity Matters and sees this as an opportunity to bring back
the spotlight to maternity care in this country. The College will do
all it can to implement these recommendations and, through
increasing consultant presence, help to ensure that mothers have a
normal, safe and satisfying experience in pregnancy and delivery."
Dame Karlene Davis, General Secretary, Royal College of Midwives:-
"I happily congratulate the Government for its commitment to
this ambitious plan for maternity services. We urgently need
to turn the plans into reality. The hard work starts now as midwives
and others translate this blueprint into real change for every
woman. To make that happen, NHS decision-makers in every local area
must deliver enough midwives and enough investment in maternity
services - and they must make a start on that now."
Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust,
said:- "The NCT is delighted to see the emphasis on providing
choice, especially choice of place of birth and direct access to a
midwife. This along with providing women with a midwife they
know and trust will make it easier for all women to have the kind of
care that will improve their chance of a normal birth, while making
sure that medical services are available for the minority that need
them. This marks a huge step forwards and gives much needed emphasis
on emotional support and empowering parents during one of the most
important events in their lives."
BRITAIN BELIEVED TO BE MORE DANGEROUS NOW THAN 5 YEARS AGO
74% of us
believe Britain is more dangerous now than it was 5 years ago.
Despite Government claims that our chances of being a victim of
crime are at their lowest for 25 years – as a nation we are more
scared than ever. The fear survey, commissioned by Good Housekeeping
magazine, revealed 53% of respondents have avoided a certain area or
route, 39% refuse to go out alone after dark on foot, and 14% had to
change their use of public transport because they felt unsafe.
30% of respondents now feel less safe in their neighbourhood than
they did 5 years ago. And 39% have taken action such as changing
their locks, installing a burglar alarm or refusing to stay in the
house alone overnight because they felt vulnerable in their own
home. 19% of those surveyed keep their windows shut at all times,
even during the hot weather. 61% admit to feeling frightened
being home alone at night and 14% claim to keep a weapon close by
them when in bed. Of those 14% - 58% have a baseball/cricket bat,
11% a knife and 7% a gun. 48% of those surveyed have felt
threatened on the street and a staggering 16% have been verbally
attacked by a stranger, 3% have been physically attacked in the last
Louise Chunn, Editor, Good Housekeeping magazine comments:-
“The results of our survey are both worrying and desperately sad.
Everybody has the right to feel safe in their own home and
neighbourhood. Maybe the Government are right and our chances of
being the victim of crime are at a 25 year low, but this statistic
is unlikely to ring true with the many people who have felt
threatened on the street, forced to avoid certain areas, or
frightened into keeping a weapon by their bed. There is clearly a
rising culture of fear in our society and this needs to be
Nick Herbert MP, Shadow Minister for Police and Reform comments:-
“The survey shows that crime is endemic in our country and people
no longer feel safe. We need tough enforcement from police on our
streets, not more bureaucracy. We need prison places and sentences
that last for the specified term. Above all, we need a new political
approach that says that crime is too high – and something can be
done about it.”
Tony McNulty MP, Home Office Minister for Police and Security
comments:- “Public protection is our top priority. People
should feel safer – there are 6 million fewer crimes now than in
1997. The risk of being a victim is historically low.”
Respondents were also asked what fills them with the most fear on a
daily basis, 38% admitted this was terrorism, 34% said burglary was
their biggest fear and 23% being attacked on the street. 41%
of respondents believe parents are responsible for Britain being
more dangerous, by not setting a good example. 35% blame the
Government for not taking a tougher stance on criminals and 10%
believe both the Government and parents are the cause.
The survey was completed by 2,000 respondents.
THE Formby Church, St Luke’s will be holding a charity organ
recital. The church is near Shorrocks Hill Country Club and is
set in the Formby Pinewoods. The event will take place at 4.00pm
Sunday on 20 May 2007. Admission is free, but a retiring collection
to help the poor in Shyira, Rwanda and Santa Domingo, Ecuador will
be taken. The event will feature, David Holroyd, who is the organist
St Luke, Formby. He is also the Director of Music, Merchant Taylors’
School and the Former Assistant Organist, Chester Cathedral. He will
be supported by Richard Lea, Organist & Deputy Director of Music,
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Both will be playing 65 stop, (
three 32ft ) 3 manual on a Phoenix Computer Organ. The Church will
be open from 2.00pm with light refreshments on sale and opportunity
to play the instrument.
THE Parish Church Of St Faith, Great Crosby are holding
Lunchtime Recitals from 12 noon for around half an hour. The events
are free, but donations are gratefully accepted towards the expenses
and church fabric costs. Full program of events can be seen on the
church website at
first of the 2007 recitals will take place on 21 April 2007. The
church will be open on concert days from 11am and 1pm for light
refreshments that will be on sale.