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To wonder what the NCT is there for?

(28 Posts)
flockwallpaper Mon 03-Aug-09 12:21:51

Posted in chat but no response.. Just wondering if what is happening in my area is going on everywhere in the UK. Pretty much everything that the NCT provides locally (apart from the nearly new sale)is now being replicated and provided for free by other bodies. The health visitors organise bumps and babes coffee mornings for free, baby music classes and a breast feeding drop in are provided free by the council. The NHS does good antenatal classes, etc etc.

I did NCT classes and used the NCT breastfeeding drop in and thought they were good, but the classes are very expensive and if I'd had DS during the credit crunch I wouldn't have bothered. I went along to an event recently to see what it was like as my membership was coming up for renewal and I wanted to decide whether to bother renewing...it was just me along with the committee members. The committee seemed very dedicated volunteers but their children are over 2 now and they want to give it up. They tried to persuade me to join the committee but TBH, why bother providing a service for local parents if no one is using it and it is replicated for free elsewhere? I don't think I will be renewing but am open to persuasion.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Mon 03-Aug-09 12:25:54

A lot of areas provide very poor services antenatally and for BF mums in fairness, and the support groups are great for some. Like many other things (eg illness support groups) the necessary-ness (my new word for today wink) will vary regionally.

However- my hmm faqctor did rise after the swine flu bit. I fully admit I only saw it reported as was away, but suggesting people delay giving birth this winter- if the NCT don't relaise opregnancy lasts 9 months (and therefore this years winter births would be now confiormed expectancies) then they are seriosuly worrying!!!!!!! And I wondered if some over anxious people could be persuaded into terminations from scare tactics such as the way the story was reported.

On general terms though, i think the more options the better to suits all types of people

flockwallpaper Mon 03-Aug-09 12:30:27

The local council does provide a lot in my area, I guess we are just lucky.

I was hmm about the swine flu advice as well. Their advice was not based on a true appreciation of the real risk, which is actually quite small.

nellynaemates Mon 03-Aug-09 12:36:01

To be fair to the NCT they got the info from an NHS website that was out of date.

Gateau Mon 03-Aug-09 12:37:52

It's yet another money-making scam - along with all the countless "classes" for babies and toddlers - for parents and parents-to-be, IMO.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Mon 03-Aug-09 12:43:04

I agree that local free access to classes and support is really improving. Money has been poured into Children's centres over the last few years, who offer things like coffee mornings, bf support, baby massage and NHS antenatal classes all for free.

It may be the case that the NCT will naturally die out in some areas if the standard of these services is adequate.

In areas where it is not, those who can afford to pay for NCT will probably continue to do so.

mazzystartled Mon 03-Aug-09 12:43:13

That's unfair gateau. I know people for whom the NCT was an absolute lifeline.

I think the NCT is in a strange place as an organisation - the improvements that the op is talking about is in no small way due - at least in part - to their campaigning work. Maybe they have made themselves redundant though through their success.

pseudoname Mon 03-Aug-09 12:44:07

gateau has always posted harshly about the NCT on every topic so I am not surprised by this remark.

mazzystartled Mon 03-Aug-09 12:44:45

Also - given the political climate - we shouldn't assume that the new improved services will continue once wehave a change of government - Tories are promising cuts to public services from day one....

Gateau Mon 03-Aug-09 12:51:22

I did say IMO!! If other people think it's a worthwhile organisation, then that's fine!

LindenAvery Mon 03-Aug-09 12:52:13

The NCT did not say to delay pregnancy due to swine flu - unfortunately the story was misreported as usual, most of the tabloids do like to have a go at the NCT - wonder what they are frightened of - people power?

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Mon 03-Aug-09 12:55:38

I did amke it clear I had only heard reports smile

The NCT home birth person was v helpfulwhen the NHS caused me big upsets, I will be grateful for that, and they do a lot socially- I imagine if you were new to an area for example that could have a lot of value. The nearly new sales as well- very popular

pseudoname Mon 03-Aug-09 12:56:16

Gateau, is there anything wrong with pointing out to the board that you have always had quite harsh opinions about the NCT?

Gateau Mon 03-Aug-09 13:00:45

Nothing whatsoever, pseudo.

flockwallpaper Mon 03-Aug-09 13:04:43

Mazzy, I agree, the NCT could be the victims of their own success but like you I can see these new services disappearing after the next election when the budget cuts come in.

So although these services that the council provide now are well and good, they could be contributing to the demise of organisations like the NCT that will have to pick up the pieces.

So probably I should support them and renew my membership. Bit worried about getting involved though, as I don't want to get roped into going on a committee that doesn't really serve anyone except themselves.

arolf Mon 03-Aug-09 13:06:54

we had our first NCT ante-natal class at the weekend, and it was fantastic - met some nice people, all of us new to the area, and both DP and I were surprised at how useful we found the class to be. our NHS classes start next week, and there will be 12 couples at them (as opposed to 3 at the NCT class), so we are incredibly glad that we could afford the NCT class. Obviously I can't comment on how useful the NCT will be to me in the future, but in terms of preparing for the arrival of baby? Pretty damned good so far.

(oh, and I have spoken to several other women who did both NCT and NHS classes, and it seems about 50/50 on which is best - all the ones who didn't like NCT said it was because there was too much emphasis on everything being natural, and no discussion on possible complications/formula feeding/c-sections/pain relief - our teacher went over all of those things, which is why I thought it was so good.)

flockwallpaper Mon 03-Aug-09 13:10:52

I thought the classes were good too, our teacher covered everything including what to expect if you have a C section, etc, so not too lentil weaving at all, but if I were a credit crunched first time mum to be, I would find it hard to justify the cost.

arolf Mon 03-Aug-09 13:19:27

well, remember at the moment we all get £190 from the government just for being with child - I was going to use that for NCT, but then my lovely employers decided it wouldn't kill them to pay me (which is a whole other story), so I was able to afford it. So the HiP grant is going on car insurance instead...
And also, first time mums are driven entirely by hormones, not experience, so can justify any expenditure on their lovely new baby! (that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!)

tiktok Mon 03-Aug-09 13:21:54

NCT never 'advised' people to delay pregnancy. The press release simply linked to the NHS website which said it...which was later changed.

Much of what happens for free in some areas is not replicated elsewhere (it gets up my nose when people think what goes on in their little patch represents the national picture).

In some areas there are no NHS antenatal classes at all. Or they are run by the NHS but employ NCT teachers to actually deliver the class (increasingly, NCT negotiates contracts with the NHS). Outreach classes - in prisons, in very deprived areas - are often run by NCT. Mother support groups ditto.

NHS breastfeeding groups are often staffed by NCT breastfeeding counsellors.

The HVs and midwives who run classes and groups are often trained to do so by NCT Professional. This branch of NCT activity is increasingly used to improve service delivery as a/n teaching and breastfeeding support and postnatal social/emotional support is hardly dealt with at all in normal HCP training.

I don't know of any 'classes for babies and toddlers' run by NCT, sorry, Gateau.

NCT does not make money like a commercial operation - it's not a business, but a charity. However, it does have to charge realistically in order to sustain its services and pay for its teachers (much of the rest of the work is done largely voluntarily)....this is going to be an issue in coming times, if people decide in large enough numbers that they cannot afford it.

pseudoname Mon 03-Aug-09 13:22:24

I think the NCT has a viable role to play and I am sure that an organisation like this one realise that society is dynamic and they have to be ready to adapt itself to maintain its existence.

I think that the NHS offering other services which the NCT has traditionally provided is a good thing. One voluntary organisation can never have the infrastructure that the NHS already has, for example.

Right now the problem with some of the services which the Nhs is trying to provide is that with the quality of those services cannot match the quality that by and large already exists within the NCT-run equivalents.

For Background: I didn't go to any ante-natal classes (NCT or NHS) and only a few post natal things run by SureStart. <Too tight to pay out the NCT membership fee.> However, along the way I have met NCT trained people in personal and semi-professional setting and of course NHS people. I am in no doubt who with the benefit of hindsight I would have more confidence to provide me with evidence based information.

as someone said Power to the People. Some people within the NHS still have the mindset that the general public should just agree to what they suggest like a nodding dog and if they don't simply acquiesce then they can get right sniffy and consider them 'difficult'. IMO, Until this sort moves out of the business of providing a service rather than be seen as a demigod then there is a place for the NCT in society.

stillstanding Mon 03-Aug-09 13:27:51

NCT was an absolute lifeline for me. The other things that the OP talks about (NHS courses, coffee mornings etc) were not half as good where I live or were over-subscribed and then only offered to people who really needed them. I also think that they do very good campaigning work.

Am so glad that I joined them and did their courses - far more useful than anything else I did, particularly on the social side.

flockwallpaper Mon 03-Aug-09 13:37:46

Tiktok, thanks for the info, I didn't realise the NCT was interacting so much with the NHS. I wasn't assuming that everywhere was the same btw. I posted because I was wondering if my area was unusual. It seems it probably has better provision than many areas.

Enjoy your classes arolf.

flockwallpaper Mon 03-Aug-09 13:42:14

Agree stillstanding. I found the antenatal course and the breastfeeding support were good, very useful. I didn't bother with the NCT postnatal course as I did the NHS one, which was good too.

piscesmoon Mon 03-Aug-09 13:44:31

The NCT was a lifeline to me too when I was new to an area with a baby. Coffee mornings were always in someone's house and so they couldn't ignore you -someone had to let you in and introduce you. I also went to mother and baby groups held in halls and it was all too easy for people to ignore you, so I much preferred the NCT.

Gateau Mon 03-Aug-09 14:14:55

"I don't know of any 'classes for babies and toddlers' run by NCT, sorry, Gateau."

I didn't say these classes were run by the NCT.

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