Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harpenden Hospital Occupation 1985

COHSE midwives occupied the Harpenden Memorial hospital for two weeks in February-March 1985 in order to stop the sacking and transfer of Midwives at the Hospital. 

The Unit was due to close on February 28th 1985, however staff with community support occupied the hospital.

 All management were refused admission unless it was on clinical grounds. 

The occupation secured wide support from the community and local GP's

The Occupation secured jobs for all Midwives on the closure of the Harpenden Memorial Hospital 8 beded Midwifery Unit and a say in the future provision of GP maternity services

COHSE Kumar Sandy Regional Officer paid tribute to those who had supported COHSE members in their fight "We now know that any threatened hospital can be run by the staff. We gathered 3,500 signatures on a petition in two weeks. And now we know how to set up and run an occupation....As a result of our sit-in the health authority was forced to meet COHSE's demands for alternative jobs for the midwives"

Daphne Hutchins COHSE steward at the hospitals stated

 "There is a vast difference between a GP run maternity unit and working in a consultant unit"

"The mother comes in relaxed, there is a friendly atmosphere and the midwives build up a rapport with the women. here the midwives look after the mothers all the way through and wave good-bye on the door step