yes…it is sad but true. I have started a new full-time job two weeks ago and job AND baby AND blogging is simply too much for me. So something’s gotta go and I am afraid it’s this blog.

But don’t despair there’s good news pretty much all round:

  • the A&E and the maternity unit of the Whittington hospital is still around and will be for a while or possibly even for many more hundreds of years
  • there are many brilliant mothers and fathers campaigning hard to “Keep Haringey breastfeeding” and will continue to do so until the campaign is won
  • I’ve got an exciting new job setting up a network of parents across the Uk to campaign for better quality health care

What can I say – I will miss this blog. I started it on the spur of the moment back in February and had no idea that it would serve so many purposes: saving the Whittington, keeping my friends informed wether or not I was in labour yet, helping me to work through the pretty traumatic birth experience and help to build a completely new campaign to keep Haringey breastfeeding.

It has also made me into a minor local celebrity. I’ve been courted by almost all local political parties (except the Conservatives) before the election, received (undeserved) praise from a number of other mums when they found out that I was Whittington Mum and even the midwife who delivered my son exclaimed when my husband mention it: “No! She is Whittington Mum?!? I imagined her to be completely different!” I never found out if she meant different in a good or bad way 🙂

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for reading.

There have been some great developments on the “Keep Haringey Breastfeeding” front.

Firstly, I received a letter from my MP Lynne Featherstone. She had received a letter from Tracey Baldwin, Chief Executive of Haringey Primary Care Trust and wait for it…there will soon be a breastfeeding support group in Wood Green (in Noel Park children’s Centre). Yay – just as so many mothers in Wood Green wanted.

Secondly, we wrote a letter to Tracey Baldwin highlighting that service users need to be adequately consulted in the review on breastfeeding support in Haringey, they have promised to conduct. Now mothers from the Keep  Breastfeeding Campaign will have a meeting at Haringey Primary Care Trust next week to discuss the issue.

And lastly, our campaign has had national media coverage in the Daily Mail – would you believe it. The reason why is quite sad though. One of our mothers was told to “face the wall” in St. Ann’s library while breastfeeding her eight-week old baby. Ridiculous ! Read it here. Apparently Haringey Council wants the libraries to be places where mothers can feel comfortable to breastfeed. Well, I guess they need to try harder. 

To keep up to date with the campaign please, please join us on facebook. And I am sure Sarah Cope will blog updates.

I’ve been very busy lately so did not have much time for blogging. Will explain why in a minute.

About two weeks ago Jeremy Corbyn called a public meeting about the Whittington. As I have a four-months old baby – whom I still partially breastfeed – I’m not going anywhere much in the evening so I didn’t attend.

However I have been told that “Stephen Conroy [Communications Director of NHS North Central London] made it clear that the seven proposals will be scrapped, likewise the proposed reconfiguration of services. However he did then say that they would be looking at each individual service to see if reconfiguration etc is needed.”

It’s good news to scrap the ridiculous proposals as they simply weren’t based on any evidence. But they still might end up wanting to close the Whittington if they draw up new reconfiguration plans. NHS North Central London will need to hurry though as they will soon be scrapped along with all other Strategic Health Authorities under the new plans for the NHS put forward by the Coalition Government.

It’s very much “keep calm and carry on” for now. I know that quite a few people will be watching the Whittington situation very, very closely and will make the appropriate noise if there is a new threat. Sadly, I can’t promise you I’ll be reporting about it.  But I am sure the local media, such as Ham&High and the Islington Tribune will.

The Defend the Whittington Coalition will probably issue a few more calls for protests, as they did over the summer. I don’t think more protests are the best way forward at this point in time to save the Whittington. So my advice would be to save the marching for when we really need it.

Brilliant news: Our campaign had its’ first success !

As a result of our letter writing campaign, petition and action day Tracey Baldwin, the Chief Executive of Haringey Primary Care Trust has promised to review breastfeeding support in Haringey, including a support group in Wood Green and the post of a Breastfeeding Specialist Midwife.

This is a great first result.

But we need to keep the pressure up to ensure that better breastfeeding support in Haringey becomes a reality.

 If you have not done so already please click here to write a few letters.

It’s vital we keep going !

I found this video quite enlightening:

 

Read the article here

 

Just a quick one to say that MP (and Under-Secretary of State for Equalities) Lynne Featherstone has thrown her weight behind our campaign.

Many of us have received a letter from her which included a copy of the letter she had sent to Tracey Baldwin, Chief Executive of Haringey Primary Care Trust on our action day.

In her letter Lynne has asked Haringey PCT to:

  • Establish the post of specialist breastfeeding midwife in Haringey on a permanent basis (widening the remit of a review on breastfeeding services to include the possibility of a permanent post would be welcome)
  • Make the timeline of any review Haringey PCT undertakes regarding this matter publicly available
  • Consult service users widely during any review and make the conclusions available to the general public on the PCT website
  • ask if Haringey PCT plans to receive UNICEF baby friendly accreditation  for its’ community health care facilities and if so what the timeline and the budget is for this undertaking
  • Commit further resources to ensure that all mothers in Haringey can access the breastfeeding support they need on a regular basis including establishing a breastfeeding support group in Wood Green N22 in addition to existing support groups
  • Make all future plans to improve (or reduce) the breastfeeding support in Haringey publicly available
  • Widely and publicly consult service users regarding a significant change to breastfeeding support service provisions in Haringey
  • Well, we are all waiting for Tracey Baldwin’s reply…