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to think that someone representing the community should ACTUALLY represent all views?

(8 Posts)
spottypot Fri 27-May-11 13:02:30

I'm all for people getting involved with local issues. But a woman I know through various parent-child groups is representing local maternity service users and seems to push her own agenda. I don't doubt that she's very well meaning and earnest in her approach, but she's very very very anti ELCS and openly takes the view that anyone who wants an ELCS on the NHS shouldn't be allowed as they've obviously been misinformed and if they knew what she knew, they'd make a different choice. She also feels that the recent White Papers regarding maternal choice in pregnancy are misguided.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I find it concerning that she's in a position where her voice could be perceived as that of ALL service users and those who have a different opinion/experience, become disenfranchised.
Sadly, she isn't the type who is happy to engage in an academic discussion about rates/experiences - she thinks what she thinks and ignores evidence which might refute her opinion - and therefore is quite tricky to deal with.
On the one hand I don't particularly want to upset her - I think she does a lot of good - but on this issue I think she's a million miles out of line.
And she teaches antenatal too. Pretty well by all accounts, but not of course, if you want an ELCS!

fairydoll Fri 27-May-11 13:04:46

Most people who have an ELCS want a vaginal delivery, but can't because it's too risky.Does she think women's and babies'lives should be put at risk?

spottypot Fri 27-May-11 13:09:47

No I don't think so. Just that women who CHOOSE a section are misguided/badly informed.

meditrina Fri 27-May-11 13:11:06

She sounds badly misinformed. ELCS simply means one for which the need is known before the onset of labour. It does not mean choosing a CS for non-medical reasons.

I don't know what you can do about someone like this. Perhaps point out that pregnant women with placenta praevia could die, as could their babies? (And there are heaps of other medical conditions you could cite). And that waiting for the onset of labour, as well as being dangerous for some, would hopelessly over-complicate the running of maternity units.

And ask for hard evidence of numbers of ELCS that are NOT for very sound medical reasons. It'll be vanishingly small. Surely there are other issues to which she could apply her energies?

lesley33 Fri 27-May-11 14:05:57

Although I agree with your frustration, I do think YABU. Someone in her position can't represent everyone's views, it is an impossibility. And the professionals she works with will know that and know her views on ELCS are just her views.

Where a representative like this is useful, is when feeding back what she hears mothers and others say about local services. For example that the local maternity ward is often very dirty.

But IME of sitting in meetings with professionals and 1 or 2 representatives, is that their views are largely ignored unless other professionals there agree with them.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-May-11 14:06:56

They type of person that wants to be a representative IME always has their own agenda and is never acting purely altrusitically....

Tortington Fri 27-May-11 14:12:42

how do you get to be a rep? are you elected?

if not then there is something wrong with the involvemnt structure and this is whee you should make your case - thereby making a case on democracy and fair representation rather than a narrow minded person

lesley33 Fri 27-May-11 14:13:36

Everyone in a meeting will have their own agenda, not just the representative. But I disagree that no reps do this for purely altruism.

Sometimes people get involved as a rep because their experience of a service was very poor and they want to make it better for everyone. For example, a woman I know who is a rep after her husband got alzheimers and she found out there was very little help available locally.

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