Posts filed under ‘Parliamentary update’

Number of women with gestational diabetes underestimated

A new study claims that twice as many women as previously thought develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

The research shows that 16 per cent of women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy compared to previous estimates that only 8 per cent develop the condition.

The findings of this international research involving 23,000 women in nine countries will be published in the March issue of Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.

Welcomed results

Cathy Moulton, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes UK welcomes the long-awaited results of this multi-national study. The research shows that the blood glucose levels of pregnant women, which were once deemed to be in the normal range, are now seen to be those of a person with gestational diabetes. This means that two to three times more pregnant women could be diagnosed with gestational diabetes than at the present moment.

“These blood glucose levels, if left undetected, have the potential to produce large babies and lead to an increased risk of injury during delivery, which causes many women to have a caesarean section.”

“Diabetes UK, who funded the Manchester and Belfast arm of this study, awaits the publication of the full study next month and the consequences it could have in the detection and treatment of gestational diabetes.”

About gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes arises during pregnancy – usually during the second or third trimester. In some women, it occurs because the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet the extra needs of pregnancy. In others it may be found during the first trimester of pregnancy, and in these women the condition most likely existed before the pregnancy.

In the majority of cases, gestational diabetes comes to light during the second trimester of pregnancy. The baby’s major organs are fairly well developed at this stage and the risk to the baby is lower than for women with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

However, babies of women who had blood glucose problems that were undiagnosed before pregnancy have a higher risk of malformations. The degree of risk depends on how long blood glucose levels have been high and on how high the levels have been.

Visit the pregnancy and diabetes secion of our website for more information.


March 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment


House of Commons Early Day Motions

Bob Spink [R]
Peter Bottomley
Bob Russell
Andrew George
Mr Gregory Campbell
Mr David Drew
Dr Rudi Vis Dr William McCrea Ms Katy Clark

That this House notes that 70,000 babies were admitted to neonatal care in England in 2008, almost 20,000 of those being admitted to intensive care; further notes that Bliss is the only UK charity that helps care for premature and sick babies; congratulates Bliss on 30 years of campaigning that has resulted in an NHS neonatal taskforce conducting the most comprehensive review of neonatal care ever undertaken in England; and calls on the Government to implement fully the Taskforce’s recommendations in order to make a lasting improvement in the way babies and their families are cared for.

January 28, 2010 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Departmental Public Expenditure – Health

Mrs. Maria Miller:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has allocated to Maternity Matters programmes in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11.

Ann Keen:

In January 2008, the Department announced an additional £330 million for maternity services to help support the implementation of Maternity Matters over the three years 2008-09 to 2010-11. This funding has been included in primary care trusts (PCT) baseline allocations. It is for PCTs to determine how best to use based on the needs of local maternity services.

Mrs. Maria Miller:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has allocated for NHS Baby Lifecheck in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11.

Gillian Merron:

Expenditure on NHS Baby Lifecheck in 2009-10 is expected to be approximately £1.3 million. The allocation for NHS Lifecheck in 2010-11 is still under consideration.

January 28, 2010 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

Midwives comment on Conservative maternity plans

Commenting on the Conservative maternity plans announced today (Thursday, 26th November 2009) at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) conference, Cathy Warwick, RCM, general secretary, said:

“In some respects the Conservative plans  reflect a general consensus on the actions we need to take if we are to provide world class maternity services. The commitment to more midwives is positive and significant, as is the promise of more locally based services, but of course both will need to be funded.

“The focus on better antenatal and postnatal care is a promising step. These are the parts of the services to pregnant women that are often lacking and suffer when financial problems bite. However, I would like to see what the Conservatives mean by ‘providers’ of these services. Are they referring to a greater role for the private sector? The RCM has serious concerns about the risk that privatisation of maternity care will lead to the fragmentation of care for women.

“I would want to see more detail on the commitment on funding for maternity services. At the very, very least we would want to see funding matching the ever increasing demands on the service.

It is now generally accepted that the method we have of paying for maternity services does not support implementation of policy. The RCM would like to see a review of the funding structure to incentivise normal births and which recognises those services that can demonstrate high levels of maternal satisfaction.

“The Conservatives are putting forward a number of interesting proposals, but good words and good intent are one thing, and real and positive action is another. We want promises made to become promises delivered and the improvements we have seen so far in maternity services continuing.”

December 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

Health regulators watchdog publishes performance review of NMC

A report by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), the ‘watchdog’ of the UK’s nine health professional regulatory bodies, concludes that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has made ‘significant progress’ over the last year.

The report, ‘Performance review of health professional regulatory bodies 2008/09’, comments that “This has been a challenging and transformative year for the Nursing and Midwifery Council. We are pleased to report on the significant progress it has made in reforming its governance and practice”.

The CHRE performance review also notes that the NMC has ‘…demonstrated excellence or good practice in aspects of its performance….’ and highlights:

  • The accessibility of professional standards;
  • The development of specific guidance on the care of older people;
  • Requiring nurses and midwives to sign a personal declaration that they will conform to the ‘The Code: Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives’ at all times;
  • Undertaking photographic checks using the British Council’s online checking system for non-EU applicants to register and;
  • The use of an expert panel of people with disabilities to inform our work on the NMC’s disability equality scheme.

However, the Royal College of Nursing says there is still room for improvement in the NMC and has described waiting times for fitness to practice hearings as ‘worrying’.

The report is available on CHRE’s website at

July 24, 2009 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

Wales Centre for Health commits to eradicating child poverty in Wales

The Wales Centre for Health has stated its commitment to eradicating child poverty in Wales by signing up to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Child Poverty Joint Agreement.

Many organisations are already committed to tackling child poverty through the Children and Young People’s Planning process. The aim of the Joint Agreement is to ensure that all public organisations that can influence the outcomes of children living in poverty co-operate to prioritise their needs.

By signing the Joint Agreement, organisations confirm that they will support and assist the Welsh Assembly Government to take forward the three strand approach to reducing child poverty outlined in the Joint Agreement Document, and ensure that, as far as possible, the policies and initiatives developed by their organisation will make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people living in poverty.

The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to eradicating child poverty in Wales by 2020 and halving it (against the 1997 rate) by 2010.

July 24, 2009 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Mother and Baby survey reveals mothers worries about breastfeeding in public

A new Mother and Baby survey, carried out in conjunction with NCT, reveals that most British women still feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public.

The survey, of over 1,200 mums, discovered that 60 per cent feel that the UK isn’t breastfeeding friendly. It also found that 65 per cent felt so strongly about it that they don’t even intend to try breastfeeding because they feel too self-conscious about people staring at them.

65 per cent of those questioned felt that they would feel more encouraged to try breastfeeding if there was a more relaxed attitude towards it among the general public. 30 per cent also thought attitudes towards breastfeeding are more positive abroad.

Two thirds of mothers who did choose to breastfeed said feeding their baby in public had been a stressful experience[l1] . Over half (54 per cent) have been asked to move on from a restaurant, cafe or coffee shop and 30 per cent have been asked to move in a shopping centre.

London came out on top as the place where mums feel most comfortable breastfeeding in public with no-one reporting that they had been asked to move on from feeding in a public place.

The North West (64.8%) and West Midlands (63.3%) were considered the most stressful areas to be a breastfeeding mum.

Women in Scotland didn’t care who saw them and felt most confident about breast feeding in front of other people – with 60 per cent not worrying who saw them. Mums in Wales feel the most supported by specialist GP and health visitors with 73 per cent feeling that they received all the support they needed. Only half of breastfeeding mums in the North felt supported.

70 per cent of mums said celebrities should breastfeed in public to help encourage acceptance.


The survey was conducted by Mother  & Baby magazine and online at and NCT website

1236 replies were received.

Mother & Baby magazine is published monthly by Bauer Media.

July 24, 2009 at 9:22 am 4 comments

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