From Labour Pains to Pains of Unfairness; a Mother’s Cry for Justice

On Tuesday 23 January 2018, Ben Cusack from The Independent reported a shocking news about a 31 year old pregnant mother, Saralee Jack, who was made to sit on a chair 96 hours without sleep after having given birth to her son at the Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire.

51 years old mother of Saralee has told The Independent that,

If doctors had treated an animal this way, they would have been punished done for cruelty; dogs and cats taken to the vets get treated better, it is the worst hospital ever, and I cannot believe how bad they have treated my daughter. Even the bed was unclean”.

Wexham Park Hospital is a large NHS hospital founded in 1965 that provides services to a population of more than 450,000 with around 3,200 staff with 700 beds. The National Health Service (NHS) is the name used for public health services in the United Kingdom which was established in 1948 as one of the major social reforms following the Second World War. The core principles of NHS were that services should be comprehensive, universal and free at the point of delivery. 98.8% is funded from the general taxation and national insurance contributions, and 60% of the NHS budget is used to pay their staff.

The report of Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England (http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/RD750), has reported in 2014 October that ‘maternity and gynecology’, medical care and surgery services are inadequate and urgent and emergency services requires improvements. Further, out of five areas of the overall assessments three areas – ‘safe, responsive and well-led’ are inadequate and ‘effective and caring’ requires improvement.  However, in February 2016, the CQC has found that the services have been improved and rated as ‘good’.

Mother of the newborn baby Saralee Jack has told The Independent:

I kept feeling dizzy like I was going to pass out – there were no nurses or midwives around. My back was in agony. They never gave me anything to eat either. When I was moved to the upstairs ward at midnight, they gave me a sandwich. Being pregnant, by blood sugar levels were up and down.”

The exhausted mother did not have the stamina to walk over to the ‘special care unit’ where her infant son was lying with a ventilator fixed for breathing, suffering from low blood sugar upon his birth.

Saralee Jack’s new born baby Tommy Davies born on 13th January 2018.

According to the https://fullfact.org/economy/uk-spending-foreign-aid/, the UK government spends 0.7% of the UK’s Gross National Income on overseas development aid each year since the year 1970. Among the annual donations, while 37% of it is given to multi-laterals like the United Nations, the balance of it flows out through bilateral agreements, out of which, 17% goes to humanitarian aid and 13% to health in other countries. UK has been ranked as the sixth most generous country in the world that provides overseas development assistance as a proportion of their gross national income, with the aim of building ‘a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK’. But, it was also reported that recently people argue the money could be better spent on domestic priorities, like social care for the people of the UK, or for defense spending.

The total population of Berkshire is over 800,000. With eight Parliamentarians coming from the county, Berkshire is a host to many economically high valued technological companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Ericson, BlackBerry and financing institutions like Ernest and Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  There are many popular and influential political and public figures from the Berkshire, including Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Honorable David Cameron. It is important to note here that the Duchess of Cambridge, who is a mother of two children today, is also from Berkshire.

Who is/are to be blamed here? The hospital management or the hospital staff? The government or their services? The public who remain silent always or Saralee who decided to have another child?

Globalization was supposed to bring the countries of the world together in peace and prosperity. But today, globalization has created more damage than good. Wars, famines and plagues have created poverty, discrimination, violence and displacement. Power giants while influencing these directly or indirectly, are at the same time spending their national budgets to rectify them. Countries with high cost of living and high taxes donate these monies to the developing and underdeveloped country. But are they monitoring closely as to how these funds are used in the respective countries. With corruption at peak, the businessmen and the politicians from the developing and underdeveloped fill their pockets with dollars and pounds, while those lawfully entitled to these currencies strive on streets, go hunger through the rough and cold winters in the so called ‘developed world’.

Recently a young woman said: “I don’t have a laptop at home, so use the PC cafés.” And recently a staff from an INGO from a middle-income country stated: “We are buying Tabs for the senior government officials involved in the particular project”. He continued saying, “not that they know to use it, but at least to send an email it would be useful.”

When children from many developed countries are homeless, when the price of education is high in these developed countries, when babies are born in hard beds and chairs in these developed countries, the national earnings are spent lavishly on things that sway between the two terms ‘need’ and ‘want’.

The Independent news wraps its article with the words of Sarah Ball, the mother of Saralee: “The family has since filed a formal complaint to Wexham Park Hospital who are in the process of an investigation.

A spokesman from the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “The welfare and comfort of women and babies are always the top priority for our maternity teams, so we are sorry that one of our mothers was dissatisfied with her experience at Wexham Park Hospital.”

“If someone said to me ‘I’m going to Wexham Park to have a baby, I would try my hardest to put them off it”, added Grandma Sarah.

Sedi | United Kingdom