Editor: If we won’t help them to help us now, then will we ever?
There is a fundamental issue which is sweeping across our public services and it isn’t one which needs a complicated answer.
It is so powerful that it is bringing the individuals who work within the system to their knees, which it turn makes the very foundations of those institutions wobble. After all, what are our hospitals, schools or emergency services other than a group of people who want to carve a career out of helping others?
They don’t go into their roles to be tied up in red tape, to leave those in their care without fulfilling their needs or to feel that the system is actually working against them. What even is the system?
Shouldn’t the real world be about looking at what people need and then asking the experts to find the best way to give it to them?
It should be that simple but it isn’t. Today’s statement by the country’s midwifery body sums it up nicely, but could equally be applied to our classrooms, social care, bobbies on the beat or ambulance service.
There aren’t enough midwives to do the job that is required of them in the way they imagined would be the case when they picked their career. That is why so many of them leave.
And, believe me, far too many midwives – just like teachers - quit and retrain just a few years into jobs which they had imagined would last until retirement. It isn’t that these individuals picked the wrong job, it is that the job is no longer what it should be.
It isn’t because they can't cope or it is too stressful, it is because there is so much getting in the way of the real ‘job’ that it is impossible.
There is no satisfaction or enjoyment – and we all know that knocks on to the new mums, the children in the class or whichever public service we happen to be talking about.
If the bosses at Jessops say they don’t have less midwives than they used to, perhaps they should look at the increasing numbers of births in Sheffield the growing demands because of failing social care and the modern world.
Things don’t stay the same anywhere and staffing numbers that might once have worked, don’t now.
Again, you can take this argument and apply it right across the public sector. We all know it to be true yet we sit here and accept it. So, if we aren’t willing to fight for them and make the change then I ask you, when?