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Author Topic: At first, I thought this HAD to be a JOKE!  (Read 1760 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 28, 2005, 01:43:38 PM »

Someone PLEASE tell me this is a joke


Hospital defends baby cooing ban

Last Modified: 27 Sep 2005
Source: ITN

A hospital has defended a ban on visitors cooing at other people's new-born babies for fear of trampling over the tots' human rights.

Some new mothers at Calderdale Royal Hospital, in Halifax, have been astonished by the new rules.

The hospital states that visitors must not ask questions about other patients' babies or look at them in maternity wards.

But managers at the hospital said the drive was a necessary measure to prevent visitors gawping at new-borns or quizzing the mother.

Staff in one of the wards have set up a display featuring a doll in a cot. A sign next to it says: "What makes you think I want to be looked at?"

Cards were handed out to visitors stating: "Respect my baby" and underneath, as if written by a baby, are the words: "My parents ask you to treat my personal space with consideration


Cooing at new-born babies banned
A West Yorkshire hospital has banned visitors from cooing at new-born babies over fears their human rights are being breached and to reduce infection.
A statement from Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax said staff had held an advice session to highlight the need for respect and dignity for patients.

On one ward there is a doll featuring the message: "What makes you think I want to be looked at?"

But Labour MP Linda Riordan said the measures were "bureaucracy gone mad".

She told the Halifax Courier: "All mothers want people to admire their babies because all babies are beautiful.

"But in a case where a mother did not want to answer questions it should be up to that individual to say so."

Some new mothers have already said they are astonished by the rules which stop people asking questions about their babies or looking at them in maternity wards.

Debbie Lawson, neo-natal manager at the hospital's special care baby unit, said: "Cooing should be a thing of the past because these are little people with the same rights as you or me.

'Infection control'

"We often get visitors wandering over to peer into cots but people sometimes touch or talk about the baby like they would if they were examining tins in a supermarket and that should not happen." A spokeswoman for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust said the advice was as much to do with reducing infection as it was upholding "rights". In a statement she said: "Staff were wishing to highlight issues of potential confidentiality, especially for young babies and their parents in what can be emotional times.

"Infection control was also a key part of the message as the unit deals with very small babies with very vulnerable immune systems."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/09/26 18:15:38 GMT

« Last Edit: September 28, 2005, 01:45:28 PM by TomS » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2005, 09:22:37 PM »

Well obviously this hospital must be run by the Greek Archdiocese of Halifax; clearly they fear infants being cursed with the evil eye!  I suggest every infant be protected with one of those little blue glass eyes. Cheesy
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2005, 09:27:38 PM »

Can this really be legit? I mean, how hard would it be to simply put the babies in a seperate room, and then not allow anyone in that room except for authorized staff? If someone wanted their baby, they could have an ID bracelet (which the baby would also wear), and when they came for their baby to see them, the authorized person(s) would check their ID and bring the baby to them in the hallway.

Joe: 'Is it creepy for a 35 year old guy to date a 19 year old girl?'
Desiree: 'Not if she's the one to push for the relationship, babe.'
Joe: 'But...'
Desiree: 'You'll shut up if you're smart.'
Joe: 'Ok.'
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 03:53:41 AM »

I can, unfortunately, confirm that this ridiculous story is in fact true. Halifax isn't terribly far from where I live and work, so the story has been all over the local news as well as national. It's totally ridiculous, but never mind. Unfortunately for the evil eye theory, there aren't many Greeks in Halifax (they pretty much all seem to be in Leeds), but it did cause me a chuckle. Round here, though, giving a hospital your religion as Orthodox is enough to cause serious problems for the person booking you in.


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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2005, 05:14:25 AM »

Unfortunately, and Americans should note - too often being given to admiration of Tony Blair, this is a product of New Labour's human rights culture. Instead of guaranteeing the liberties of citizens from oppression and ensuring due process before the law the human rights 'culture' at times becomes more like a bizarre caricature of Soviet oppression.

The same hospital still probably puts men and women in the same wards, dishes out hospital gowns that expose the patient immodestly, and to drafts. While hospital acquired infections multiply the staff clearly have lost all proper sense of proportion or priorities.

Many parents love their child being admired, and no child of that age I now of of objects to empathetic attention.

A health concern that may have validity would possibly wanting to limit exposure to acquiring infection, but what that may have to do with 'human rights' absolutely beggars belief. And as for criticism, these 'thought police' or 'commissars' are impervious sadly.

So, Tom, it isn't a joke but any sane person reading would be forgiven for considering that the report could only be a joke.
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2005, 05:38:10 AM »

The same hospital still probably puts men and women in the same wards, dishes out hospital gowns that expose the patient immodestly, and to drafts. While hospital acquired infections multiply the staff clearly have lost all proper sense of proportion or priorities.

I do not know the details of this hospital. However I do work as a staff nurse in a NHS hospital in Scotland. Mixed wards are very much being phased out and are certainly much rarer than they were during the Tory years. The hospital gowns you refer to are probably Theatre gowns devised to be removed while the patient is beoing operated on, they have them in the US too, for people well enough off to have operations.
I refute as scandalous the accusation that nursing staff in this country have lost all sense of proportion or  priorities. I work 12 1/2 hour shifts looking after sick people. Who are you to tell me I can't do my job properly?

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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2005, 06:17:29 AM »

One, I am eminently and professionally qualified to comment and my comments were specific to the nurses who dreamt up this daft intervention. We have heard promises over a very long period of phasing out, and too often that is all that it is or some artifice is introduced to pretend 'mixed' wards no longer exist in hospital 'x'. And the use of such gowns in a mixed ward do produce embarassment and unwanted exposure as I found when visiting a friend only last week. The level of hospital acquired infections compared to our continental neighbours is worryingly high. Levels of cleanliness and practice I have observed on visits worries me. Cleaners in hospitals have halved over 20 years but the work has not. A circle that cannot be squared. A woman having a cannula inserted and the cap dropped on the floor, picked up and blown on before being replaced - until I objected, a woman allowed to remain wet for some hoursafter a nurse spilled water over her and her bed. Again only resolved after I objected very gently and was treated with considerable discourtesy. A woman in an admission unit left soiled for some hours, and when finally the nurses cam to clean her up, done none too gently, the bedding discarded onto the floor and only removed after some delay. And the floor left and another patient moved into the bed shortly after. Hand washing omitted when staff moved from one patient to another. And recently two undercover telelvision documentaries featuring in one a undercover journalist working as a hospital cleaner and the other a nurse carrying a covert camera.

Nor are my observations new or simply my own, as patients groups have articulated for some (retired nurse and writer Claire Rayner being a vocal example). Sadly, I do know there are many dedicated and exceedingly hard working staff of all disciplines in NHS hospitals. I know too, that one unit may raise concerns and another nearby admiration. Funding, staffing and retention issues are also problematic with serious consequences for everyone, including the staff.

The team in this Halifax hospital have and I stand by my criticisms come up with a justification for something that is at best laughable, even ridiculous and now amount of dancing around or misplaced defensiveness can detract from that.

And having look at my original comment I cannot see I had you in mind?

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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2005, 10:00:30 PM »

Bureaucracy gone mad... indeed!  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2005, 10:09:41 PM »

btw... there's a beautiful piece written by Jane Shilling for the Times that really gives some perspective to this silliness. The article is found here:


She concludes thusly: "And, of course, it would be far nicer for Sister Lawson and her managers at the Calderdale Royal Hospital if we could all exist in hygienically sealed individual units. Still, I rather hope that she doesn’t get her way, for the day that cooing over new babies is banned is the day that human society begins quietly to wither."

It's really a rather interesting read if you have the time.  Wink
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2005, 10:51:38 AM »

OK, would it be all right if I coo new born puppies and kittens? Or did the mother dog and mother cat leave a note, "Please leave me some space." Huh

Just asking.... Grin  Shocked Wink Roll Eyes


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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2005, 11:01:50 AM »

My major concern with this is the obvious:  If we're worried about infringement of the babies' human rights, what about those vain little bundles of joy who enjoy the cooing and the silly baby noises?!  Aren't these parents infringing on their rights to be cooed at?  Did they put it to a vote in the neo-natal ward: "Everybody against cooing, spit up now"? This is so pathetically sad, but funny, too.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner
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