For those used to watching “call the midwife” where there is time for a life as well as work, reading this book might bring you back to NHSreality. The fear of retribution is real… The author is at risk in our English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland health services. An honest exit interview would be really helpful, but not done by HR in any trust in the employ of the department of health…
Julia Llewellin-Smith reports 6th Feb 2020 on: The Secret Midwife interview: ‘It was a traumatic 15 years’ – Philippa George wrote a memoir about her time as a midwife after she was signed off for stress. Things need to change, she tells Julia Llewellyn Smith
Philippa George is recalling some of the weirder — and most heartbreaking — moments in her 15-year career as a midwife. “There was the time a woman in her twenties walked in accompanied by her grandma and dumped a Tesco ‘bag for life’ down on the reception desk,” she recalls. “We were, like, ‘What’s this?’ She said, ‘It’s the baby.’ ”
………Sitting in a café in central London, George, who works in a midwifery unit outside the capital, is exactly the person you would want at your side during labour: smiley, calm and empathetic. She went into midwifery straight from school and is adamant that it’s her vocation.
But her account of how her job has altered in the past few years makes for dispiriting reading. I would be uneasy recommending her book to pregnant friends, but women who have given birth in an NHS hospital may experience grim recognition at her accounts of constant short-staffing, which means that many women don’t receive the attention they need in labour and afterwards.
“I used to be able to give one-on-one care; now that’s a thing of the past…….
Now George’s main concern is that, having blown the whistle, management will uncover her identity. “I just don’t know what they might do if they found out about the book. I just don’t want to lose my job,” she says. “Even after everything that’s happened to me, I still think it’s the best in the world.”
The Secret Midwife is published by John Blake on February 6 at £16.99
The Secret Midwife – Full article can be downloaded here..