Thursday 10 November 2011

The House of Commons

I am very proud to be a campaigner for Bliss, the charity for babies born too soon, too small, too sick. Bliss has two main functions, the first is to provide family support for those with a baby in special care. This support is given primarily by phone, by paid staff and my volunteers. The second important function of Bliss is to campaign for better funding and for improvements in special care for these fragile babies.

Bliss, I think are fantastic, in that they encourage us as parents (and grandparents and other family members too) to carry out a lot of this vital work, and nothing is more effective than a parent who has been there, and seen the reality of neonatal care.

I was invited, along with many other parents, to attend the House of Commons and to ask my local member to attend. I was delighted that my local MP, David Nuttall came along, and listened to the message and collected the report, which I hope he has a chance to look at, alongside his many other responsibilities. I am very fortunate to have a caring, approachable MP and any nerves I had were quickly dismissed when he started chatting to Joseph about the dubious scaling of his various plastic animals. Joseph quickly turned the topic around to dinosaurs.

Bliss have several areas of concern. In these tough economic times, neonatal care is suffering, alongside other areas of the NHS. Nurses are being made redundant, or leaving and not being replaced. Bliss have concerns that many nurses working in neonatal care are not specialists, and this is essential. Just because you can canulate a 12 year old does not mean you can do so with a patient who is 12 weeks early.

Bliss also have concerns about the closures of units and how hospitals are going to cope. This is very real in our area, and given that, unfortunately, it appears the Fairfield Hospital will close, that we need to focus on how we help families in David's constituency cope with this change, and take this opportunity to make sure our fragile babies get the best possible care given the circumstances.

If you share my concerns, write to your MP. Bliss has made this incredible easy, just a matter of filling in the boxes and their clever system does the work.

What I loved about the House of Commons meeting was although there were suits, and important people, and all housed in a grandiose buidling, the day was all about the kids, running around, playing with the lifts, and the MPs who attended made it very clear that Westminster is about the people not the politicians, and made us feel so welcome.

I feel so proud and humbled that I have been to this amazing place.

And thank you David Nuttall for attending and I look forward to working with you on these important issues.

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