8th July 2011
Just shy of two-dozen Members of Parliament took time out of their day to speak with the RCM during a 90-minute drop-in session for MPs held on 5 July. At times they were even queuing up outside. The MPs, representing all three main political parties, came to hear our views on how maternity services can be protected and improved, and many kindly offered to help us with our campaigning in the future.
Was your MP there? The ones who came to speak to us were David Amess (Southend West), Steve Baker (Wycombe), Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds), David Crausby (Bolton North East), Simon Danczuk (Rochdale), Nick de Bois (Enfield North), Mike Gapes (Ilford South), Andrew George (St Ives), Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire), John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central), Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle), Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne), Stephen McPartland (Stevenage), Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall), Steve Rotheram (Liverpool Walton), Amber Rudd (Hastings & Rye), Alison Seabeck (Plymouth Moor View), Andrew Smith (Oxford East), Robin Walker (Worcester) and David Ward (Bradford East).
Thanks must go to Henry Smith MP for Crawley, who booked the room in parliament so that we could hold this drop-in event. He has helped us many times in the past when we have needed to ask questions of the government and is a good friend of maternity services and midwife-led care in particular.
In the photo, you can see MPs Oliver Heald, Andrew George, Robin Walker, Henry Smith and Steve Baker – all in the room at the same time. The high level of interest certainly kept us busy. You might also have noticed in the list the name of the former secretary of state for health, the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP. It was a real pleasure to see a former health secretary dropping in.
Many midwives and other supporters of the RCM’s Protect Maternity Services campaign contacted their MP to ask them to come along, and that clearly had an effect, with many MPs mentioning that their constituents had asked them to speak to us. Thank you so much for your support. This proves that something as simple as sending an email can make a real difference.
If you can see your local MP’s name in the list above, then please consider contacting them – free – using the write to them website and thank them for coming along and tell them that you appreciate them taking an interest in maternity care. MPs are used to people contacting them to complain about things – the occasional email thanking them for their interest can go a long way.
If you haven’t done so already, please sign up to support the Protect Maternity Services campaign and encourage those you know to do the same.
This is the cake MPs were welcomed to the event with - all thanks to RCM staff member Tiki for her efforts here.