I’M continuing to campaign for Stroud Maternity post-natal beds to reopen as soon as possible as I continue to work alongside our incredible parent-led campaign groups.

Conversations in recent weeks have been with our Gloucestershire NHS Trust chiefs, parents, midwives, the APPG for maternity, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the government’s women’s health ambassador. I have been covering all the bases.

My main argument is that post-natal care is not a luxury that can be switched on and off. Pregnant women cannot pause their births to wait for normal service to resume. We are sadly still in a situation where women and families in Stroud have a worse offer than even during the pandemic when I had my baby locally. This is not a good position and it needs to change.

I know the trust is working hard on this. There is a national shortage of midwives - indeed a national shortage of workers in all sectors since the pandemic. I have received up to date assurances from the top of the trust that the unit will be reopened fully but no firm date is given. The staff there are wonderful and I understand they are raring to go too.

I had hoped to have seen the Health Scrutiny Committee document that the trust is preparing in time for this article. My understanding is everyone is looking to find new models of working and the recruitment drive is continuing.

This cannot come soon enough. My heart bounces with happiness whenever I see a pregnant woman in our towns and villages but then I get a fast pang of stress worrying about Stroud maternity hospital. I am also really pleased midwives have agreed a pay deal with the NHS. It covers two years and includes an additional one-off payment for 2022/23 and then 5% rise for this financial year. The extra pay and the certainty it brings will help with recruitment too.

Well done to everybody involved with organising the Randwick Wap. It was an amazing event that I always enjoy and I think it gets better every year.