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Launch of Scotland's maternity manifesto

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Launch of Scotland's maternity manifesto

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Published by webmaster for 24dash.com in Health

Dame Karlene Davis

Dame Karlene Davis is in Scotland today (Tuesday) to launch the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Maternity Manifesto in the lead up to the local and Scottish Parliament elections on May 3.

In launching 'Securing the Future of Maternity Services', RCM's General Secretary Dame Karlene said: "Uniquely amongst all the services that the NHS provides, maternity is the one health service that we have all needed.

"As well as our own births, most of us need maternity services again when we start a family and every time our family grows. Birth is a very precious time for all families and our manifesto - Securing the Future of Maternity Services - will assure Scottish women that candidates are aware of what is needed to provide them access to first- local maternity services."

The Manifesto calls for:

An end to Community Maternity Units closures driven by cost-cutting Women in remote and rural areas must have accessible maternity services – with transport a key priority Home birth must become a reality for those who want one safely The impact on maternity services of young women arriving in Scotland from the new EU Member States must be taken into account and extra resources identified The emergence of the Consultant Midwife in every NHS Board to offer leadership to the profession An annual £10,000 bursary for all student midwives The role of the midwife in detecting domestic abuse must be enhanced

Dame Karlene warmly welcomed that Scotland's maternity services are doing well compared to elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

She said:  "Scotland's midwives enjoy a guaranteed one year's employment in the NHS, which has helped provide a well-staffed service to women. But of course there are always ways to improve – and that is why we are today launching our maternity services manifesto for Scotland."

Dame Karlene Davies said: "Scotland must also actively engage with the role of midwives in dealing with alcohol and substance abuse – with Scots twice as likely to die an alcohol-related death compared to people across the UK. 

"Midwives played a central role in giving every one of us the best possible start in life. During pregnancy, childbirth and the first few days of a newborn's life, midwives are there – supporting women, offering them health advice, promoting breastfeeding. Mental Health issues also need the dedicated care of midwives because they can help develop a real relationship to provide support for the woman and her family at a difficult time.

"Often the women and families accessing maternity services are in need of specific help with certain aspects of their lives. Midwives are well-placed to focus on those who need most help and intervention."

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