Showing posts tagged with: 'campaign'


What is the point of twittering anyway?

Sun 10th May 2009 by Ben Palmer.

screen-twitterIt's not all rubbish that's spouted on twitter, despite whatever your newspaper may say! Amongst conversation, debate and information sharing, there is an army of supporters on twitter who pass on messages and information about the Jessica's Trust campaign – often tagged with the #maternalhealth hashtag – and some of them are adept at bringing the cause to celebrity attention.

With some success:

In April Jonathan Ross (Wossy - an extremely popular twitterer) and his wife Jane Goldman (FerretPrincess) both signed and alerted their followers, saying respectively

wossy: I am signing this petition. You might like to as well . Give it a look ! http://bit.ly/2zlSfI Read http://bit.ly/kzYuX PLS RT
[link]

and

ferretprincess: RT @jessicastrust: @ferretprincess #uk #maternalhealth petition needs your support: http://bit.ly/2zlSfI Read http://bit.ly/kzYuX & PLS RT
[link]

ferretprincess: @jessicastrust Signed and retweeted. Very, very best luck with the petition - a highly important and worthy endeavor indeed #maternalhealth
[link]

Three members of Take That – Mark, Gary and Jason – have signed as well, although they're not on twitter themselves, a friend of one of theirs is.

More recently, a couple of days ago, a twitter friend of mine sent a request to Stephen Fry, asking him to retweet information about Jessica's Trust. He gets a lot of requests and has a very strict policy on how he does it, so success is rare. At the time his #fryretweet stream was also being spammed. The two of us were unsure whether the tweet would even be seen and we discussed it openly on twitter.

Two minutes later, Stephen Fry sent a DM (private message on twitter) assuring me that he was ignoring the chaff. I thought, 'wow that's nice of him to say, but he'll forget about us in a minute or two.'

How wrong I was. Yesterday morning at a little after 10am, messages of congratulations started flooding my twitter stream: “you got this week's #fryretweet,” people were telling me. And there it was:

stephenfry: This week's #fryretweet cause is http://www.jessicastrust.or... a very excellent use of twitter.
[link]

An endorsement from the King of Twitter himself! For the next five or six hours our web server held up magnificently under heavy load – and it only resumed normal levels after about 12 hours.

It didn't stop there though, the beautiful Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight, got involved too. During an exchange of messages after she signed the petition, she wrote:

@jessicastrust yes of course no worries! i'm small but i got fight!! let's get 'em signing!! xxx #maternalhealth
[link]

and, urging her followers to get behind #maternalhealth and sign as well, she also encouraged Wossy to mention us again – which he did.

So if any more big twitterers would like to spare three minutes to sign and support us, we're here: where else can a tiny charity win the ear of such heavy weight influence?

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Look at the bigger picture

Wed 29th Apr 2009 by Ben Palmer.

big_picture

Click the picture to enlarge it, then please sign our petition, if you haven't already.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/maternalhealth/

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MEOWS: Recommended

Sat 25th Apr 2009 by Ben Palmer.

I spend a lot of time campaigning for the national use of Modified Obstetric Early Warning System (MEOWS) chart, and indeed I was in Oxford yesterday talking to some midwifery students about their use, and the difference they would almost certainly have made to Jessica.

Not everybody always immediately shares my enthusiasm for them. I've been challenged more than once. It has even been suggested to me that the NHS isn't ready for them. Tosh. In December 2007 I learnt that an estimated 10% of NHS Trusts were using them, and that figure is increasing as MEOWS is adopted Trust by Trust, even if only for high risk mothers. What is a high risk mother? Jessica wasn't but she died. Every mother should be followed for the first 10 days after delivery by her own MEOWS chart, I believe.

As for being a lone voice - this is what the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) said in it's top 10 recommendations to save mothers' lives in it's 2007 report, using prevention of deaths from sepsis as an example:

Early warning scoring system

9. There is an urgent need for the routine use of a national obstetric early warning chart, similar to those in use in other areas of clinical practice, which can be used for all obstetric women which will help in the more timely recognition, treatment and referral of women who have, or are developing, a critical illness. In the meantime all trusts should adopt one of the existing modified early obstetric warning scoring systems of the type described in the Chapter on Critical Care, which will help in the more timely recognition of woman who have, or are developing, a critical illness. It is important these charts are also used for pregnant women being cared for outside the obstetric setting for example in gynaecology, Emergency Departments and in Critical Care.

Rationale

In many cases in this Report, the early warning signs of impending maternal collapse went unrecognised. The early detection of severe illness in mothers remains a challenge to all involved in their care. The relative rarity of such events combined with the normal changes in physiology associated with pregnancy and childbirth compounds the problem. Modified early warning scoring systems have been successfully introduced into other areas of clinical practice and a system which has been modified for obstetric mothers is discussed in Chapter 19, together with an example of such a chart. These should be introduced for all obstetric admissions in all clinical settings.

In developing this recommendation, a consultant from a hospital where staff are trying to get such a scheme introduced said “we have had three near misses related to unrecognised sepsis in the last two months, all of which would have been picked up by this chart. All three women came close to featuring in the next edition of your Report”.

Auditable standards

  • A National Modified Obstetric Early Warning System (MEOWS) chart developed and piloting started by December 2008.
  • In the interim, the number of trusts who have adopted a version of any existing MEOWS charts and trained all staff in its use by the end of 2008

Lewis, G (ed) 2007. The Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH). Saving Mothers’ Lives: reviewing maternal deaths to make motherhood safer - 2003-2005. The Seventh Report on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. London: CEMACH.

Update: The report link has moved to the new CMACE website

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Mrs Brown gives away a free plug

Fri 10th Apr 2009 by Ben Palmer.

sarahbrowntwitterpageI've been away from here for a little bit too long, with school holidays, work etc. I've also been concentrating on micro-blogging.

Just the other day I discovered that Sarah Brown had joined Twitter. As well as being Mrs G. Brown, she is a strong advocate of women's health in the developing world. Knowing this, I 'followed' her (on Twitter this is a very non-stalking thing to do) and sent her a link to this website. She thanked me back, and I thought nothing of it until today.

I have just been sent a link to a story in the Technology pages of the Telegraph: Prime Minister’s wife joins Twitter which says it all. What great publicity for Jessica's Trust!

Sarah Brown does great work for www.whiteribbonalliance.org, www.millionmums.org and www.mothersdayeveryday.org. I hope she realises that too many mothers die in this country as well, but she hasn't yet signed my petition to her husband, although you can.

Thank you to @StudyingOnline and @marketingwizdom for drawing it to my attention.

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Mother's Day Every Day

Fri 27th Feb 2009 by Ben Palmer.

On a random web search just now, I came across this post.

The White Ribbon Alliance is an international coalition bound together by a common goal: to ensure that pregnancy and childbirth are safe for all women and newborns in every country around the world.

Let's face it, our problems pale into insignificance when compared to the developing world, and while I believe that 'Charity begins at home' also means trying to fix the problems at home, other nations really need our help.

Let's not forget their mothers either. The Mother's Day Every Day campaign is a brilliant idea.

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Twittering by Gently

Sun 8th Feb 2009 by Ben Palmer.

At first I started, through curiousity, on a high protein diet of @stephenfry, but then I was reading an interview with a man who started a charity in memory of his wife. He'd been recommended Twitter(.com) as a good means of raising awareness, so I thought...

Anyway, if you tweet, follow @jessicastrust, and please feel free to spread the word or retweet.

I'm really really pleased with the signing rate on the petition, please keep it up and don't forget to spread the word, by tweet or by mouth!

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Help us by signing our petition

Tue 3rd Feb 2009 by Ben Palmer.

Jessica's Trust needs your help

Please sign our petition

We have started a new petition on the Downing Street website, asking the Prime Minister to...

"...ensure that every new mother has regular observations recorded on a Modified Early Obstetric Warning System (MEOWS) chart in hospital and in the community and is given clear information and advice on the recognition of childbed fever (also known as puerperal fever and genital tract sepsis) and that doctors and midwives are given clear sepsis guidelines."

More information

This petition will remain open for 9 months.

However, please sign our petition now, with one name per line - signing as 'Mr & Mrs Smith' will only count as one signature! Every British citizen or resident can sign if they have a unique email address.

When you have signed please remember to click the link in the confirmation email you will receive, then please  share the link to this page with anybody who you think might like to sign it as well.

For more information about the petition, childbed fever, MEOWS and Jessica's Trust please read our website.

Online donations and fundraising

Since becoming a registered charity, we have partnered with Justgiving.com to allow us to receive online donations.

All money donated or raised through sponsorship will enable us to continue raising awareness of childbed fever through printing and distributing leaflets and posters, running our website and striving to achieve our aims.

Keep up to date with our work

Bookmark our website or join our update list to keep abreast of what we're doing.

Thank you

Thank you for your help. Together we can make a difference.

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Basingstoke

Fri 30th Jan 2009 by Ben Palmer.

I was very glad to attend the South East Regional CEMACH conference in Basingstoke today. I was asked  to speak a few months ago, and as anyone who knows me will testify, I hate public speaking. As a result I blanked it until the last minute and just revised my last speech at the eleventh hour.

As yesterday approached, CEMACH offered me a corner of their table for my leaflets and books, then a table of my own. By the entrance/exit.

I was made to feel so special I forgot to be nervous this morning, especially as the chair of the conference handed me some Bachs Rescue Remedy. By the time my slot arrived I was feeling comfortable in the lecture theatre, knew what I had to say and launched in.

I knew to expect the rustle of tissues, but I was overwhelmed by the support shown afterwards, and the number of requests for a repeat performance in other parts of the country, and the speed at which copies of Friday's Child flew off the table later.

As promised to a number of delegates, here is the link to the text of my speech in Birmingham last year - largely unchanged today. And yes, I will consider recording it and putting it on YouTube. The more (student) midwives that hear it the better.

Things will change, thanks to Jessica.

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Button pressed

Wed 14th Jan 2009 by Ben Palmer.

Thanks to some generous donations, I've been able to push the print button, ordering copies of our leaflets and posters from our friendly (he knew Jessica for years) printer - 11,000 in total. It sounds  a lot to me, but to get them spread as far and wide as I'd like we'll have to print an awful lot more.

I should have them in time to take to the South West regional CEMACH conference at the end of the month, where I'm speaking once again about Jessica, childbed fever and MEOWS charts, and CEMACH have very kindly let me share their stand at the conference.  I hope as many delegates as possible will take copies away with them, back to the maternity wards.

We're gathering other 'first round' destinations for packs of the literature as well, and some fund-and-awareness raising meetings are being planned where they'll come in handy, but if you have an idea of who might benefit from some copies, please let us know.

It's going to be busy in the coming months, so check back regularly or sign up for updates we're going to need some help in more ways than one!

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She doesn’t know her mother is dead

Sun 14th Dec 2008 by Ben Palmer.

Just reading the Sunday's, I came across a heart rending story about Karmeh, who still doesn't know her mother died of post-partum sepsis.

Developing world childbirth is far, far more dangerous than it is, for example, in this country, but I believe that charity begins at home and that means fixing the problems at home as well. The work that so many organisations - such as the White Ribbon Alliance - does is vital, but there is so far to go in ensuring the safety of our own mothers.

Back to Karmeh for second, and I question the wisdom of not telling her that her mother is dead. Waiting until she understands the concept of guilt may be too late to tell her the truth. My own children, Harry and Emily, know the truth, but Emily doesn't understand guilt so hasn't (quite rightly) felt it. She may do at some point in the future, but at least she won't have the truth to contend with at the same time.

For the moment, Jessica's Trust is committed to raising awareness of and preventing childbed fever deaths in this country, but one day (and I'm already having discussions to this end) I'd like to say, 'Job done. Now, what can Jessica do to help in the third world.'

All of our resources are limited, but please: do help where you can.

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What is childbed fever?

Childbed fever is an infection of the womb in new mothers which can lead to septicaemia. If left untreated infection will cause organ failure and death - even in young, fit mothers.
more»
What are the symptoms? »
Childbed fever: the facts »

What's the aim?

We would like every parent and every midwife and doctor to know that childbed fever is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
more »
Can I help? »

Who is Jessica?

Jessica Palmer was a Mum. She died in June 2004, at 34 years old, of childbed fever caused by Group A streptococcus.
more »

This website contains general information about childbed fever. The information is not complete or comprehensive. You should not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider; and if you think you may be suffering from childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should seek immediately medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.
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