NHS

TW: Mental health in pregnancy can kill

A woman lost her life and her baby did too. We don’t know why. All we can do is empathise and lie awake despairing at the world that allowed such a thing to happen. She left the hospital in slippers, no coat, odd considering it’s almost Christmas, an irregularity that would surely have made someone look up and notice something was terribly wrong. Nobody did though. She was allowed to leave the hospital with the baby wrapped in a few blankets. There was no proud dad by her side, with his chest puffed out like a pigeon, babe in arms, she didn’t roll out in a wheelchair. Nobody checked to see if she had ordered a taxi.

In saying all this I’m not revealing myself to be some kind of undercover nanny state advocate, I’m merely describing every single birth of a child I’ve had the privilege of being involved in, and even my own early induction (medical miscarriage). Especially my own experience being as it was mentally fucked up. Surely someone would have noticed the woman who didn’t look like all the others, one whose eyes are empty, can barely lift her head to see where she’s going. She might be dressed inappropriately for the weather, in hospital slippers minus the usual winter attire. If this wasn’t an immediate concern, then the baby wrapped only in blankets would have raised an eyebrow. It’s not like you can get out of a hospital very fast, there are so many nobs to pull and buttons to press to get anywhere, especially on a maternity ward, measures introduced to prevent people just strolling in and stealing babies. Nurses stations are usually by the doors, they had to have seen her.

Unless maternity services are so stretched no one has any time to see you as a person, just a number taking the total down, if only briefly. Where was the prenatal screening for depression and appropriate support if she needed it? Health professionals, in my experience, are usually on it from the second you meet them, how you must tell them if you’re feeling low, the sort of services they can refer you to and tend to be very sympathetic to the ‘baby blues’; all this at barely 10 weeks pregnant (in my experience and practically everyone I know).

Why didn’t somebody notice? We’ve heard all the judgments this past week, of women who abandon motherly love, how, even if it had been that bad she could have handed the baby in to someone, how selfish it was of her to leave the baby so callously and justice should be served. I have been praying (to something, not sure what) that she would be ‘ok’, though I feared not. It is heart-breaking that this mother and her baby died a death that could have been prevented. An alternate ending where she lives happily ever after, supported by all those she comes into contact with could have been her reality. I know because I have had that support and everyone did the right things and I lived.

This death doesn’t make sense to me. There are so many people in your face about keeping your foetus and to their exacting standards (no smoking, no drinking or evacuating) with no acknowledgment of the hell pregnancy plays on your mind and your body, and yet LITERALLY the second they’re born, they’re invisible. No more badgering mum to watch her eating habits or put on a coat and some shoes, or checking to see if you’ve put the nappy on properly, or teaching you how to breastfeed or bringing you painkillers, or a sandwich, cup of tea or toast. Or the millions of test they do on a baby when it’s first born.

Why didn’t anyone notice? Will ‘lessons’ be’ learnt’ on this occasion?

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Dear BBC Blah Blah Blah

Dear ms ambreen

Reference CAS-1379184-J1Y6RZ

Thanks for contacting us about BBC News.

I understand that you feel we haven’t devoted enough time or provided in-depth coverage of the Health and Social care bill and the opposition to it.

The political opposition to the Bill culminated in the House of Commons emergency debate on 20 March. Accordingly, the Commons debate featured heavily in our news coverage on the day and was the lead story during our main news bulletins.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_9699000/9699477.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_9701000/9701904.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12177084

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17289988

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16933394

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-14779676

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Anthem (Leonard Cohen)

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

Petitioners.. Lend me your ears

Avaaz, 38 degrees, Care2… We British love a good petition. We can save the forests, halt Rupert Murdoch in his dark and dirty tracks. If enough of us get involved, heck, we could even save the NHS! Couldn’t we? Dr Kailash Chand’s petition to ‘drop the health bill’ currently stands at 151,565, surpassing the 100k mark backbenchers need in order to discuss the will of the people. By a long shot. The people have spoken, it would seem. The NHS is saved! Isn’t it?

Mark Donne wrote an enlightening piece for the Independent in which he explains that our collective voice has been given a platform that is not all we perceive it be. ‘Clicktivism’, signing a petition, hashtagging,  is holding us back and merely “provide an extremely convenient holding centre for disgruntled or livid voters. Most are unable or just too busy/ exhausted/lazy to attend a demonstration or occupation, but click here, “like” this and you have resisted: you (and the forces you oppose) can sleep at night.”

A ruse to divert us away from actually acting.  As a nation, we’ve been forced to subscribe to this method of activism because we have seen what happens when we do vote with our feet. Armed police on horses charge into crowds full of children, politicians strike up dialogue calling for water-boarding and rubber bullets and people get beaten and detained, their identities embedded into systems that will hold them for however long the establishment deem fit. We live in a tyrannical state.

When the Prime Minister of this country holds a summit to discuss NHS ‘reform’ and how these changes affect GPs yet refuses to invite said GPs, he is making a statement that the matter is not open for discussion. Why haven’t the BMA and Royal College of General Practitioners been asked to attend? Could it be because they oppose the bill and fear that rather than reforming the NHS, they are in fact destroying it? So PM Cameron is actively denying a voice to anyone that might object to his make-the-Tories-even-richer-by-going-private scheme. When a number of Lords and MPs look to benefit personally from us all going private, it makes it all the more sinister.

A selection for your perusal:

  • The former Conservative Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley is a Director of BUPA, the health insurance, private hospital and care group.
  • Baroness Cumberlege of Newick, Former Tory health minister, runs Cumberlege Connections, a political networking firm that works “extensively” with the pharmaceutical industry
  • Baron Newton of Braintree – Advisor to Oasis Healthcare on dentistry and general healthcare matters.
  • Lord Ballyedmond – Chairman of pharmaceutical company Norbrook Laboratories.
  • Lord Bell – Chairman of Chime Communications group, whose lobbying clients include Southern Cross, BT Health and AstraZeneca. Tim Bell has a conviction for ‘wilfuly, openly and obscenely’ exposing himself ‘with intent to insult a female’ under Section 4 of the 1824 Vagrancy Act.
  •  David Cameron – Nursing and care home tycoon Dolar Popat has given the Conservatives £209,000. The Ugandan-born dad-of-three has amassed an estimated £42million fortune as founder and chief of TLC Group, which provides services for the elderly. Mr Cameron made the businessman a peer shortly after entering No10 last May, and Lord Popat’s donations include a £25,000 gift registered a week after the Tories’ health reforms were unveiled last July.

HT @socialindepth

(For a comprehensive list of MPs and Lords set to financially gain from the dismantling of the NHS, please visit http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.com/2012/02/nhs-privatisation-compilation-of.html)

With all of this going on right under our noses, we have a right to be angry. We have the democratic right to protest, apparently we live in a ‘democracy’. Mark Donne agrees, posing the question to Noam Chomsky “what he thought the outcome would have been if the nearly 500,000 who have signed a yet-to-be presented petition against the privatisation of the NHS had joined the other 3,000 in occupying Westminster Bridge in late October.” Noam simply replied, “You would have no bill”.

Although petitions are proving to be entirely useless, history will remember we opposed this bill in our hundreds and thousands. To ensure an outcome, we need a million (wo)man march. Somehow we must fight back against the scare tactics employed to silence us. Disgruntled citizens the world over are saying enough is enough, organising marches, rallying, making their governments fear them and the will of the people.

Why do we remain so afraid of ours?

REFERENCES

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-donne-could-a-renewed-activism-translate-into-serious-pressure-on-the-government-6256633.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/feb/19/david-cameron-nhs-summit-criticism