Andrew and Rachel Canter fight for better maternity services
WHEN ANDREW and Rachel Canter’s son Jake was stillborn in 2005, the couple were heartbroken. But at the end of last month, on what should have been Jake’s second birthday, they created something positive out of the tragedy — the National Maternity Support Foundation. The charity seeks to maintain and improve maternity services and promote research into stillbirth and neonatal death.
In 2005, the Welwyn-based couple chose to use a birthing centre in Edgware, Middlesex, having been told it was a seven-minute ambulance journey to Barnet General Hospital. But Mrs Canter was refused admission when Jake’s heartbeat decelerated. She had to go to Chase Farm Hospital, where Jake was stillborn.
Mr Canter tells People: “I don’t think maternity services have improved [since then]. The theory is that larger hospitals save lives, but with maternity, we are not talking about ill people.” The couple have been working with the Royal College of Midwives to send the charter to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Health.