The Guardian has reported that the charity Maternity Action has launched a legal challenge against the policy of charging vulnerable migrant women £7,000 or more to access NHS maternity care. Maternity care falls under “immediately necessary service” in the UK, which means it must never be refused or delayed regardless of a patient’s immigration status. The legal challenge argues that the government is in breach of the public sector equality duty.
Read the article | Read more about Maternity Action
A report by Prof Mike Richards has said that there needs to be easier access to NHS screening programmes in England, including evening and weekend clinics, to increase uptake. Prof Richards also called for tests to be offered in a wider variety of locations, including mobile units. And he recommended using social media to promote what was available. The government had asked Sir Mike to look at the five adult programmes covering cancer and other conditions.
In recognition of Baby Loss Awareness Week 2019, (#BLAW2019) in her role with the NMC, Donna Ockenden visited maternity services in the southwest of England and saw how midwives and the wider maternity teams, including chaplains and local and national charities, support local families when they are bereaved.
Read the blog
Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 have covered the topic of incontinence in pregnancy, speaking to women and midwives about the issue. The NMC have provided a statement and background information outlining how the new midwifery standards include the knowledge and skills to support women with incontinence issues throughout their maternity journey.
Listen to the episode here
The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) will stop carrying out external maternity incident investigations by 2021 and will be handing them back to the NHS. A bill presented to the House of Lords gives HSIB statutory independence from the NHS. It also grants HSIB the power to keep information in a place that cannot be shared, except in exceptional circumstances, with bodies like the General Medical Council.
Read the bill
Donna Ockenden is supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week 2019 (#BLAW19) which takes place every year between the 9th and 15th October. Its primary aim is to raise awareness about pregnancy loss and baby deaths across the UK. During this week babies who died during pregnancy, at birth or soon after, or in infancy are remembered by their parents, families and friends in many different ways.
The Nursing Times reports that the government has set a 90% flu vaccine target for health staff this winter. A campaign has been launched by the deputy chief medical officer for England, that says nurses have a “professional responsibility” to ensure they get their influenza vaccination. Jonathan Van Tam announced that the target flu vaccine uptake for health professionals for the coming winter season is “above 90%”. The campaign is run by Public Health England and NHS England and calls on health workers as well members of the public in vulnerable groups to take up the vaccine.
All all too often Dads can feel left out of the care and support offered to mums by clinical staff when a miscarriage occurs. Tommy’s have launched ‘Men Living Through Multiple Miscarriages’ which is a pioneering new research project led by Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research. They are aiming to explore men’s experience of multiple miscarriages in order to find out how they can improve support for families. The study is currently recruiting participants, on their website.
Tommy’s, Tell Me WHY campaign launched last month and covers why more pregnancy research is needed which could explain why miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births happen. In 71% of cases, doctors are unable to give devastated parents the reason why they lost their baby. In many cases, this is because they simply do not know enough about the causes and prevention of baby loss. This leads to parents scrutinising their every decision and feeling guilty or blaming themselves.
If you haven’t seen the campaign yet, there’s still time to get involved.
The Sunday Mirror reported how the Royal College of Nursing wants to reverse cuts to addiction, mental health and other support services so 726 preventable deaths can be stopped. They say that new data shows two rough sleepers died every day last year. The Office for National Statistics figure doubled in six years and drug deaths rose 55 per cent. The funding call comes from thousands of nurses working in homeless health.
Nursing in Practice reports that the nursing staff shortfall is the ‘most concerning’ shortage across the NHS. A report; ‘The state of the NHS Provider sector’, pointed out that the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust have projected that on current trends, in 10 years’ time, the NHS will have a shortfall of 108,000 full-time equivalent nurses. It also raised concerns around the exodus of nurses from the European Union (EU) with 1,584 more nurses and health visitors from EU countries leaving their roles than joining them between July 2017 and July 2018.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is warning that the lack of watertight legal responsibilities for the supply and planning of the health and care workforce is fuelling the staffing crisis. NHS figures show that there are now a record 43,617 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone, a figure compounded by a global shortage of nurses and the removal of the nursing bursary. In the NHS in England, 12% of posts are now without a full time Registered Nurse.