Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog


Posted on: December 11, 2008

I had a busy day yesterday, saw a client for a routine antenatal visit, attended a Christmas lunch (!), met up with a friend, had a consultatation with a prospective client and then worked on the labour ward at Milton Keynes General Hospital for a few hours!

I find it so interesting that a large proportion of my clients aren’t British. I absolutely love this as I get to find out so much more about other cultures. In keeping with this trend the couple I met last night were not British. We discussed why this might be.

My thoughts are that people from overseas may well be used to paying for their healthcare and so employing an Independent Midwife doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. Some clients from abroad have private health insurance (private health insurance in the UK does not usually cover midwifery care). I do also wonder whether our NHS is seen as inferior to care provided by other nations. An interesting thought. Although more medicalised care does not necessarily mean better, for example in some countries women are routinely monitored by ultrasound scan and external cardiotocograph monitoring (CTG) at each visit – wow, now that sounds OTT to me.

Interestingly, the couple pointed out to me that they do not necessarily view our health service as inferior, but “different” and being unfamiliar with it, and not speaking English as a first language they felt they wanted support to navigate the system (as well as the benefit of having continuity with a midwife they know throughout their care).

I don’t usually work within the NHS, but as I currently have no babies due (I actually have Christmas off this year!) it seemed a good opportunity to work within my local unit and to enable me to up-date my “high tech” skills.

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