Lack Of Resident Midwife Leaving Islands’ Women ‘Quite Vulnerable’

hospital 4Mums-to-be in Scilly are feeling “quite vulnerable” because the NHS still hasn’t recruited a midwife dedicated to the islands.

Cllr Christine Savill told yesterday’s Children’s Trust Board meeting that there are currently three pregnant women on St Martin’s who have shared those concerns with her.

Chris was speaking in a debate joined by Ruth Wellings of NHS Kernow, who called into the meeting by phone to request feedback on the NHS maternity commissioning strategy.

That report says the birth rate in Cornwall and Scilly has risen by 20% in the last decade.

Senior Manager for Community Services Aisling Hick wanted Ruth to outline plans for filling the vacant post. Aisling warned that the position offered could potentially leave a midwife feeling “exposed, vulnerable and isolated from their peer group.”

Ruth explained that the two people offered the job so far had turned it down. The first appointee couldn’t find accommodation. A home was sourced for the second applicant, but she then pulled out.

Aisling told the meeting that the NHS has only offered a post for 20 hours a week and that meant the last midwife had to find a second job in a Hugh Town store.

Chris told Radio Scilly after the meeting that it’s important for pregnant women and new mums to build a relationship with a midwife and that was difficult if there was “uncertainty.”

And she feels that the part-time role may not be attractive enough to encourage someone to move to the islands.

The Council will respond to the maternity strategy by the end of January.