How Monica cares for babies and children
Recently I was lucky enough to be in Kenya (have a look here to share some of my African adventures). I met several inspiring Heydayers there and Monica (62) is one of them. At a time when there's so much bad news about the NHS, it's important to be reminded of the remarkable work the dedicated people within it do.
"I’m in a senior, strategic post in a mental health trust in the NHS, working on child protection and the challenges that arise where parents have significant mental illness. Often there is neglect, which is not deliberate. If you’re a new mum with depression, for example, and a baby that’s naturally demanding, you can quickly feel fragile and overwhelmed. If a mother is struggling to look after her baby, it’s important it is for somebody to recognise that she needs help, even if she doesn’t know it.
A new mum with depression can quickly feel fragile and overwhelmed
It sounds cliche, but for me the satisfaction comes from knowing I can help people. I support, advise and consult with the practitioners who work with the families, working with social services, the police and other voluntary health agencies to achieve the best support for a parent, to enable them to look after their children safely. I teach and support staff to recognise when those situations present and what to do. Its very rare that children are removed from parents. Its much better that help is given to them from an early stage, when the problems are starting.
Im a trained nurse, midwife and health visitor. When I was a student nurse in a big London teaching hospital, I worked on a ward with very sick babies and children who’d had major liver surgery. I vividly remember a little girl, who would have been a few months old. She was in a cot, in a cubicle on her own and we were told she’d been thrown against a wall when she was a baby. She had fractures everywhere. The only person who ever came and see her was a social worker and plans were made for her to be taken into care. That was my first experience of child protection, right at the start of my career. Now here I am at the end stage of my career being the person who works to protect little girls like that."
How fortunate are we that there are people - and we know how many of them there are - with Monica's experience and dedication working within the NHS? I'd welcome hearing about your experiences of the extraordinary care our health services provides.