We support Jane Greaves; NHS Midwife
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Having worked alongside Jane for several years, I am one of the dozens of midwives witness to her hard work, tremendous skill and experience and commitment to go over and above the call of duty for women in her care.
Jane has always had a deep rooted passion for women-centred care, going to selfless lengths to ensure that the women in her care feel safe and empowered. I worked many shifts with Jane; working alongside her was always a privilege. On many occasions the birthing unit would be full, she would juggle two or three women in her care, none aware that she was also caring so intensely for women in rooms next door. She worked tirelessly, regularly working shifts without breaks, toilet stops, food or drink; not out of choice, but because there wasn't opportunity. Staffing and working conditions were regularly escalated to senior management.
When I read the article in the Yorkshire post about my colleague, I felt sick to the core for many reasons;
- that the NHS policy can allow this to happen.
- that instead of dismissal by the head of midwifery, a plan of support wasn't adopted.
- that in a time when the Midwifery profession seems to have been bashed by a constant barrage of negativity, 'we' have dismissed a wonderful midwife who has given 18 years of herself to women, to the NHS, to her community and to her colleagues
- that midwives aren't valued and respected. This case highlights the reality that midwives aren't seen and valued as 'people' anymore; Jane has been used as an example. She has been treated appallingly. Her colleagues are outraged and the women of Wakefield and the surrounding areas are losing out on her first class care.
As the article above states, Jane has been dismissed by the trusts head of midwifery for a poor sickness record. Jane, who has worked as a midwife for 16 years, worked at the Pinderfield's birth centre since its opening in 2016. In total, Jane has had 14 days off sick in the 12 months from January 2017 to January 2018. Her last episode of sickness was due to a kidney infection, developed at work on December 31st. She was seen by a urologist who said she wasn't emptying her bladder often enough. She works on a unit where there is no staff toilet. Jane has highlighted almost 50 times about problems of poor staffing and workload on the unit.
Adrian O'Malley of UNISION said;
'Jane's dismissal is the most unjust I have witnessed in over 35 years as a steward at Pinderfield's hospital. It's absolutely outrageous that a trust which is advertising for midwives has dismissed a dedicated member of staff of 18 years standing. Quite rightly her colleagues are disgusted and are petitioning the chief executive to get her re instated.'
The midwife crisis has been widely publicised in recent years. Following the analysis by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in October 2017, Jon Skewes, director for policy, employment relations and communications for the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) commented;
'This latest report shows quite clearly that our maternity services are under-staffed and under-resourced... The government need to work hard to retain our hard-working, experienced midwives in the service so that when new midwives are trained, they are reducing the shortfall rather than replacing the midwives who have had enough of seeing their pay packet dwindle while they're working harder and harder.'
'Our maternity services are in crisis, the birth rate is higher than it has ever been before, maternity teams are over stretched and there is a shortage of 3500 midwives in England alone'.
These statistics and comments have been widely documented over recent years; in journal articles, survey reports, on social media, on TV programmes... However the true and crippling realty of the crisis has been felt first and foremost by the midwives' themselves.
Please support Jane by signing this petition. In doing so, you will also be supporting the wider Midwifery profession who work tirelessly to ensure the midwifery care in this country is some of the best in the world; in spite of it's dangerous staffing and resourcing levels.
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