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Barnet & Edgware branch hold meeting to discuss possible merger of both branches

Written by Denise Cohen, Edgware & Barnet Branch Steward
4 April, 2016

Barnet & Edgware branch hold meeting to discuss possible merger of both branches

On the 22nd of March 2016 Barnet and Edgware and The Royal Free RCM Branches held an extra ordinary meeting to discuss the possible merger of both branches to create a Trust wide Branch.

We welcomed guest speakers Cathy Warwick and Ralph Mirams from the RCM.

Cathy Warwick opened the meeting by talking about the Maternity Review which was warmly welcomed. Key issues from the report included that more money should  be provided for postnatal  care and perinatal mental health.

There also should be more collaborative working between health professionals to meet the needs of women and that women should be treated  as individuals and not categorised thoughtlessly as high risk and low risk.

Cathy gave an example of some of the challenges we face, talking about her recent TV appearance speaking  about obesity.  As we all know this is one of the biggest challenges in health care at the moment. A  woman also appeared on TV who was obese.  She had had a normal birth and wanted a water birth.  She was not allowed this option so opted for a home birth.  Meeting her individual request for a water birth might have been a safer option. 

The proposed personal maternity care budget was discussed. 

Although MSWs were not mentioned in the Maternity Review Cathy stressed they  remained an integral part of the team and workforce.    

Cathy also pointed out that the report stresses the need for collaborative working between Trusts, working together more in networks  and sharing of information instead of being in competition .

Probably the most important point of all was the report’s advocacy of  continuity of carer.  Not only does this benefit women and improve outcomes but it may go some way towards protecting the role of the midwife.  As Cathy pointed out if we work in a way that focuses on tasks it is easy to allocate those to others.  

Cathy emphasised the need for midwives not to be overwhelmed by all the changes, to look at their own practice and take small steps towards improvement.

Ralph then spoke about the possible merger of the two branches and the benefits of joining together such as it allows Branches to organise around Trust wide issues, and if necessary is easier to ballot Branch members for strike action.

A vote was taken of the meeting attendees and 100 % of the members who attended voted for one trust wide branch.

A big thank you to all that attended the extra ordinary meeting and to Cathy and Ralph.  

Written by Denise Cohen, Edgware & Barnet Branch Steward

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