Reverse Decision to Withdraw Provision of Antenatal and Postnatal Groups in Crediton

Reverse Decision to Withdraw Provision of Antenatal and Postnatal Groups in Crediton

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Ellen Haydon started this petition to mid devon district council and

Funding cuts are being made to antenatal and postnatal services all over Devon, including my local area of Crediton, resulting in the withdrawal of these services. Crediton Children’s Centre will no longer be offering free access to antenatal and postnatal groups that play a crucial role in the support and education of new mothers and families in the community. All local famalies from varying backgrounds have previously been able to regularly access these groups, giving them opportunity to meet with other parents, provide their children with social opportunities and seek out trained health professionals who can offer advice and access to support in a recognised ‘safe place’. I fear that the withdrawal of access to these groups could seriously impact on the mental health and well-being of new mothers, as well as the learning and development of babies and children in the community, especially those from vulnerable backgrounds. Early intervention from trained health care providers with in the community is vital, the withdrawal of antenatal and postnatal groups will almost definitely result in missed opportunities to identify those in need of help during the early stages. Antental and postnatal depression, domestic abuse, poverty and many other sensitive issues are unfortunately very common, and early intervention boosts the chances of positive outcomes for families. Although parents are able to set up their own independent groups, they will be at a disadvantage because of not having trained health professional present. Many parents will likely be lacking the tools and information needed to provide support and advice to a struggling family in their time of need and will only be able to point them in the direction of helplines and websites. Parents are much more likely to seek help or be identified as needing it if they are regularly attending a group where they have the opportunity to communicate with other parents and also health professionals too. Antenatal and postnatal groups help to shape the start that children have in life by providing them with social interaction opportunities with children of a similar age and encouraging normal development through learning and play. The babies and children that attend these groups are also being done a disservice. Because negative impacts on the health and well-being of mothers, babies, and children are far more likely to go unnoticed by professionals with out the contact point of these groups and the fact that many children will also miss out on the chance for early, social interaction and development opportunities; It is of my strong belief that the withdrawal of these vital services is posing a risk to the health and well being of families in the community. I feel that it is unrealistic not to be prepared for negative consequences to happen as a direct result. I am calling for the decision to withdraw the provison of antenatal and postnatal groups from Crediton Children’s centre as well as all other areas in Devon to be reversed before it has a negative impact on the families with in our communities. Please sign and share this petition if you agree! 

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