STOP separating parents and children in hospital - NHS to review hospital trust policies

STOP separating parents and children in hospital - NHS to review hospital trust policies

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Charlotte Jonsie started this petition to Sajid Javid and

NHS hospital trusts are stopping both parents from being with their sick child in hospital, forcing one parent to make all medical decisions alone and have no personal support that is needed in distressing times. Equally, if one parent is admitted into hospital, baby/child is not allowed to be with them or visit them. Even if breastfeeding!

What the law says about parents and children: “Parental responsibility means being responsible for your child’s wellbeing. Looking after your child. Feeding and clothing your child. Making decisions for your child…The law sets out who has parental responsibility. You have it automatically if you are the biological Mother and Father of the child.” Therefore, in all cases of medical care and the welfare of child in hospitals, decisions should be made together as a family and a partnership in hospital in these times of need. By law, by separating parents/child/families, they are giving us no option to make decisions with equal weight and responsibility. In addition, causing incremental trauma and mental health problems. Furthermore, the NHS are going against NICE & WHO guidelines of separating mothers & babies. Both parents need to be present to make the right decisions for them as a family and for the welfare of their child/children.  

This needs to change! And it needs to be reviewed to coincide with the rest of UK changes to all events. Examples below. How is the hierarchy of sports above child welfare right now? How is this acceptable?

What you can do;

  • Go to a football match with 60,000 people.
  • Go to a shopping centre and be around hundreds of people.
  • Go to a nightclub or pub in crowds of people.
  • Go on holiday to a different country & pay for a covid test. 

What you can’t do;

  • Two parents cannot be with their sick child in hospital no matter what the circumstances and even if you’re from the same household.
  • Mother is separated from baby/family if admitted into hospital.  
  • Father is separated from baby if admitted into hospital.  

Why the restrictions need to be reviewed and changed!

  • It goes against NICE & WHO guidelines for mother & babies to be separated.
  • It’s unlawful to refuse the right to be with your child to make decisions for them.
  • Families who are from the same household are living and breathing in the same space every single day, yet they can’t be in a room in a hospital with their family.
  • There is testing widely available now to prove negative covid tests.
  • People have been vaccinated. What is the step forward for the NHS to improve our experience?
  • If you walk with a mask on, to a private room and you have no contact with any other vulnerable patients. You are not affecting anybody.
  • Restrictions are being lifted in the UK, including masks. We are socialising in crowded environments, but we can't be with our families during times of need. NHS needs to be fair!
  • The hospital trusts COVID policies are inconsistent across the UK.
  • Parenting is a TEAM effort! Mental & physical support is needed. No child can be left alone. 
  • Families should not be considered separate entities. They should come as 1 unit, parents with equal responsibility.
  • Separation of families/child from parents should be only under exceptional circumstances.
  • Staff should not have to endure or experience angry parents. This isn't fair on them. 

MY STORY 

Situation 1

  • My pregnancy and birth. After a traumatic 90-hour labour, which I was on my own for half of it, going through painful contractions alone. My partner (father of my child) was only allowed in during established labour. This was 2 days later. After my baby was born, I was left on my own with a brand new baby & I needed physical and mental health support. There was a HUGE lack of mental health and physical support available.
  • The Impact - The lowest I’ve ever been in my life. Not having my partner there emotionally caused post-natal depression. It put extreme pressure on me physically having to feed my baby, it took me 15 mins to get in and out of bed. I couldn’t even stand up after abdominal surgery.

Situation 2

  • Separated from my newborn at just 6 weeks old.  I was admitted into hospital 6 weeks later with an infection. I was breastfeeding at the time & was forced to choose between my health and baby at the time. Hospital staff refused my baby to come into my room (where I was alone). I was told I was allowed visitors at the weekend, but not my partner and baby. Only one person. Link here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIL8Kc9DfRh/
  • The Impact – PTSD & trauma on mental health. Forced to stop breastfeeding as my partner had to give him a bottle. Financial impact as my partner had to stay home to look after the baby. Distress on my baby being away from Mother in the early days.

Situation 3

  • We rushed to hospital as my little boy had a high temperature. Hospital staff refused to see our little boy unless it was one parent only. We refused to leave each other. Hospital was empty & I needed the support as I have PTSD from previous experience. 
  • The Impact - Emotional distress for no reason. Delayed care due to drama & staff being very forceful. They put policy in front of the care of the child.

Enough is enough. This has to stop! I’ve experienced this too many times and I know I’m not alone.

All of these situations could have been avoided. Please share on social media, with your family and friends.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!