Health. Cherbourg hospital: after a turbulent summer, midwives remain worried

The Cherbourg maternity hospital is looking to recruit midwives. (©Jean-Paul BARBIER/La Manche Press)

In the shadow of emergencywhich has polarized attention in recent months, the activity of the woman/child pole was strong this summer 2022, in Cotentin public hospital center (CHPC) de Cherbourg (Some).

From here to November 2022eight starts have been counted since the start of the year, out of a team of 45 midwives. At the beginning of August, the independent union FAFPH had sounded the alarm on a situation which is becoming difficult. followed a social movement of ten days.

An air of deja vu

Since then, the problem has not changed. In the profession, many of them want to leave the hospital. Either to settle as liberals, or to opt for a part-time job. In Franceone in six women has no gynecological follow-up and 84% of them encountered difficulties in aborting.

At the beginning of July, in an email, the midwives had learned of the closure of a large part of the midwifery consultations. Specifically, for lack of recruitmentsthere will be no more gynecological consultations, monthly pregnancy follow-ups, childbirth preparation sessions and fewer ultrasounds performed by midwives.

“Without a midwife, without a gynecologist”

With, also and for all women, the risk of less health education and prevention information.

“I had been followed at the maternity ward since I was 15. I am 46, Recently they gave me a new one and gave me an appointment for a check-up, and an ultrasound. Three weeks later, I received a phone call telling me that all appointments had been cancelled, and that there would be no more. As a result, I find myself without a midwife, without a gynecologist and above all without a check-up. »

A Cherbourgeoise

A level 3 establishment, it has a prenatal diagnosis unit. This summer, the management explained that it was above all doing everything possible to ensure the maintenance of care linked to its level and to the management of high-risk pregnancies. For pregnancies not deemed to be at risk, the management recalled that the large volume of liberal midwives was one of the specificities of Nord-Cotentin.

Even if the public service remains the main recruiter of midwives, for the past ten years there have been many liberal cabinets to have flourished in the Channel.

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Open letter

However, to say that the hospital would no longer be a first intention would amount to saying that these consultations would be based on civilian medicine. “Since this summer, we have seen women who are very worried about this situation,” comments Sophie Bernard, midwife at the CHPC, representative of the autonomous union.

From unionsa parallel is also beginning to be drawn with the current situation in the Emergency Department, especially since Saint-Lo also has difficulties, that the medical demography in gynecology is not very provided, and the liberal struggles to absorb everything. In open letter to legislative candidatesthe Order of Midwives of La Manche also noted a deterioration of health indicatorswhether it is a question of the gynecological sphere or perinatality.

Work group

Like other actors in care, everywhere in France, the profession is experiencing a crisis of vocations, in particular due, according to the unions, to a lack of recognition and increasingly degraded working conditions. Recruitment remains difficult, even if some short contracts have been signed in recent weeks.

A working group has been set up and is due to submit proposals soon. In addition, a meeting must be held after the All Saints holidays. Yes the number of births has decreased in recent years in Cherbourg, midwives often point out that many tasks have been added in the same period of time.

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