Advanced search

Our baby died due to failings in NHS care. Any mumsnet troops out there willing and able to help me force change?

(176 Posts)
bubble99 Sat 30-Apr-05 22:47:02

One of our healthy, term twins died recently due to total mismanagement of care caused primarily by understaffing. I have posted at length about this on 'Miscarriage and Bereavement'.

I would now like to start a campaign to raise awareness of the chronic understaffing in midwifery services in London and surrounding areas where the cost of living is high.

In particular, I would like the whole issue of London and Outer London Weighting to be urgently reviewed. It seems insane that hospitals are shelling out millions to pay for agency midwives and nurses when the logical course of action would be to substantially increase the allowance paid to staff working in areas where property prices/rents are higher. This would hopefully increase recruitment and retention of staff. In addition, nurse/midwives homes which have been sold off to private developers need to be replaced so that student midwives/nurses can afford to train and live in these areas.

Anyone out there prepared to help me with some research? We are prepared to use our own tragic case to highlight the issue in the national media.

If our son's death means that you and your unborn baby are safe during labour then his death will have not been in vain.

lilsmum Sat 30-Apr-05 23:12:45

i will help bubble, what do i need to do? good on you for having the strength to fight back


oops Sat 30-Apr-05 23:14:00

Message withdrawn

hunkermunker Sat 30-Apr-05 23:14:16

Yes, yes, yes and yes again. Let me know what I can do and I'll do it xxxxxx

lockets Sat 30-Apr-05 23:17:05

Message withdrawn

LGJ Sat 30-Apr-05 23:23:14

Just tell us what needs doing.............I have told everyone about this case.

I told my parents last week, my Mum filled up and my Dad was the one who said if they don't play ball, drag them through every paper in the land.

His exact words, were, the facts alone will generate column inches.

Please don't think we were being trivial, we weren't, my DD used to work on newspapers in Ireland.

hub2dee Sat 30-Apr-05 23:24:13

I'm in. Do you feel this will be the principal angle of your fight, or are you also addressing any of the specific failings in the hossie as presented by you ?

(Only ask as the London Weighting accommodation issue is obviously a tremendously large problem affecting MANY other 'key workers'... what political party seems to have most sensible proposals wrt this ?)

bluebear Sat 30-Apr-05 23:27:34

Bubble - Agenda for Change - the new pay system for NHS staff - is being introduced now...under this system there is a significant increase in London weighting (from about £2300 in central london to a maximum of £5000) - There is also going to be a way of paying certain staff groups more (?retention bonus?) so that understaffed areas can try to recruit staff from other parts of the country.

My apologies if you already knew that.

Wishing you all the best for your campaign.

butterflymum Sat 30-Apr-05 23:31:03


I am not sure if you would be considering involving politicians in this but if you are approaching the media, then some sort of political involvement may also be of help.

Numerous charities use Early Day Motions (EDMs) as a means of highlighting and drawing attention to an issue. This reaches across all parties and seeks support of any/all individuals within same, so can reach a wide and varied audience, thus raising much needed awareness and hopefully, ultimately, support. May I suggest that if you are starting a campaign, you also consider approaching a local MP and ask for them to support the issue/s and perhaps raise an Early Day Motion on your behalf.


tiffini Sat 30-Apr-05 23:35:50

i am not very good at research, i expect you have already thought of this, but once you have done some research, i wonder if CHANNEL 4 would be interested in making a documentary, they may even help with your research.
if you are interested here are there contact details.

Telephone: +44(0)870 1234 344
Fax: 01874 622994
Post: Channel 4 Shop
Unit 6
Industrial Estate


BadgerBadger Sat 30-Apr-05 23:37:08

I'd like to help in anyway I can. I'm not local to London, but if there's anything I can help with 'from afar' just say!

Frizbe Sat 30-Apr-05 23:48:08

same here, not at all local to london, but willing to help in anyway possible.

bubble99 Sat 30-Apr-05 23:55:35

Hi all. I'm afraid Field Marshall Bubble is fairly clueless as to how these things work. I would like to contact The Guardian with this story as they have recently run a few pieces on the crisis in NHS maternity care. An ex-journo mate(now has 3 children) has told me that journalists are generally a lazy bunch (no offence intended to any mnet journalists reading this) and that if I/we do the leg work they will be more inclined to run with it. A mate of mine also works at The Times and has offered to pass this story on to the newsdesk. Not sure if that will work as Murdoch is in bed with Blair (yuk) and it may not be featured.

I would imagine we need to look at the following:

1) Average property prices/rents in relevant areas, in our case this will be SW London/Surrey. Kingston, Richmond, Hampton, Tooting. Need to go to multimap and find areas surrounding Kingston Hospital. Let's assume that we're talking about single full-time midwives, so, one bedroomed flats. This will involve finding websites for property agents in these areas.

2) Salaries for all grades of MW's at Kingston Hospital. Will this be in the public domain?

3) Calculation of take-home pay after rent/mortgage has been paid.

4) Costs of equivalent midwives from agencies including agency fees.

5) Current London and Outer London Weighting Allowance amounts paid to MW's

6) Details of amount of and location of Nurses/midwives homes sold by NHS

7) Visa arrangements for non-nationals currently working as midwives within the NHS. i.e. How long are they allowed to stay and practice here before being required to leave the UK. Is this a cost effective system?

hub. Will certainly use our own sad story to illustrate the fatal effects of understaffing and shortage of MW's and Drs. with insufficient knowledge and experience attending our birth/death. Not keen to name names as the main feature of our case was that should be a supernumerary senior midwife available on site at any time of night to oversee all births and contact a consultant if required.

Thats all I can think of for now. If some of you could investigate one point on the list each we can then collate it and prepare something. TIA


hunkermunker Sun 01-May-05 00:01:43

Not sure if this is much help, but Kingston's mentioned a couple of times here

bubble99 Sun 01-May-05 00:05:12

Bless you HM . I'm taking my little grey cells and my recently greying head of to bed now but I'll look in tomorrow morning.

Night all.


hub2dee Sun 01-May-05 00:09:34

bub: completely understand.

Ref: Taking this to the press / doing research... I'd always advise a sly approach to research to minimise effort: What other bodies are interested in this angle ? Who may have already done this kind of research of pushing for this kind of change ? What numbers / research have they already done ? Any key-player Independent Midwives in this area (or ex this hospital perhaps ?)

Radical Association of Midwives, or some senior figures floating around Yahoo UK midwifery may already be very plumbed in to this kind of stats, IYSWIM... agree it may take as long to find it out, but certain figures may have already been published or have accepted 'offical accreditation' IYSWIM... the government may already have a number for the cost of rent / living in a particular borough etc.

Must go to bed now as super-tired, but maybe we can throw more ideas around in the AM ? It would be good to get input from any economists / statisticians / journos / political beasts / Mws as the more input / ideas / streamlining at an early stage, the more focussed your output will be.


hub2dee Sun 01-May-05 00:12:27

sneaky: too tired to read the pdf but looks good. Will review tomorrow. It may be relevant to focus on the one hospital as an example, but then do a 'but look it's bloody everywhere' type of thing, IYSWIM...

It might also be in our interest to see it from 'their perspective' - perhaps viewing stats wrt PCT rather than individual hospital...

OK. Eyes sore now. Night.

mears Sun 01-May-05 00:14:35

Bubble - have you thought of contacting the RCM?

It may well be that the information you are seeking can be provided by them and that you could get support from them to highlight these issues.


mears Sun 01-May-05 00:16:27

contacts at RCM

BigGayDad Sun 01-May-05 00:21:48

Bubble - I'm willing to help where possible with factual issues. I work in th eNHS and may have access to info. Nothing too contentious though as I'm a little in the shit already!!

BadgerBadger Sun 01-May-05 00:25:03

Average property prices...

Kingston upon thames



BadgerBadger Sun 01-May-05 00:36:50



hunkermunker Sun 01-May-05 00:39:31

key worker flats in Hounslow, TW5)

There are other properties on this site ( and also , obviously, but I'm not entirely au fait with the area, so not sure exactly where to search - interested to see key worker accommodation relatively nearby though. The price for the one I linked to is from £84,997 and is a half share under a shared ownership scheme. There are only four flats in the block on offer at that price, but I'm sure there are other schemes all over London like this.

There will be links to specific agents on both these sites - far easier than to look for agents in these areas through google, I think.


Guardian switchboard:
For general information
Please call the switchboard on 020 7278 2332


information here about midwife pay scales not being implemented and ludicrous bank staff arrangements - quotes good practice at Kingston

Another one mentioning Kingston Hospital recruiting nurses expensively

This (dated March 2002) mentions that couples must make an appointment to view the Maternity Ward tour video because overwhelming numbers of people were arriving for it and giving cause for concern about the mothers and babies on the ward

This (dated Apriol-December 2003) says there remains a high vacancy rate for midwives at Kingston Hospital

Pay scales for nurses/midwives in the NHS (including London/Outer London weighting figures

Another link to midwifery pay scales (Department of Health website)


I've had a brief look for nursing agencies, but they're pretty cagey about what they charge (obviously, I suppose).

That's all for now - I'm going to bed too. I hope that's not too useless what I've found so far. I'm sure that other people will find a plethora of other info too. I just want to go and jump up and down on people until they realise that this is all so very wrong

Hugs to Footle and the rest of the Bubbles xxxxxx

BadgerBadger Sun 01-May-05 01:08:07

reconfiguring maternity services came across this (recommendations published in 2003 by NCT) you've possibly seen it, but just in case!

hunkermunker Sun 01-May-05 01:59:50

I am sure you've thought of contacting the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services

But if you hadn't, and everyone assumed you had, you might not contact them, so I thought it a good idea to put the link on this thread.

OK, I'm really going to bed now

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: