I had lunch yesterday with Dr Gwyneth Lewis, Director of the Maternal Deaths Enquiry for CEMACH. I spoke immediately after her at the conference in Birmingham a few weeks ago, and we had agreed to meet up in the near future.
It was a good opportunity to catch up with what I am doing through Jessica's Trust, and where she wants to go with maternal health, globally as well as domestically.
Incidentally, CEMACH have also been in touch to ask me to speak again, in the new year, at one of their regional conferences. It's fantastic to begin to properly understand how much Jessica's story does really help, and after my nerves of last time I'm much happier to say Yes.
Gwyneth asked me what more I still wanted to achieve by campaigning. 'Raising awareness of childbed fever' is accurate and all well and good, but it is a bit vague other than as a strap-line. If I go and speak to parliamentarians, committees and Royal Colleges it's not precise enough. I know what I want, it's probably dotted around in the pages of this website, but I have now turned it into a 1-2-3 wishlist.
1. Every new mother to be handed a leaflet or card with information about childbed fever and its symptoms.
For example, our leaflet or a version of it. The Meningitis card handed out to new mothers is really effective and the simple information shown is widely known now. All parents and their families need to know about childbed fever.
2. Every woman to have regular observations recorded on a Modified Early Obstetric Warning System (MEOWS) chart - in hospital and at home.
It's really encouraging to hear that more and more hospitals are getting around to implementing them, but they should be in use nationally. Mandatorily and now.
3. Every doctor and midwife to have a clear sepsis guideline.
It is lamentable that such does not exist. I'm going to add our voice to those already calling for it.
We acknowledged that finding time to work on Jessica's Trust can be hard at times, but the passion is there, and the open line of communication with CEMACH just may give it the boost to go.