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Lambeth and Southwark Milkspots

Volume 600: debated on Monday 12 October 2015

The Petition of residents of Dulwich and West Norwood,

Declares that the Lambeth and Southwark Milkspots cafés staffed by expert midwives from King’s College Hospital provide a gold standard of postnatal breastfeeding support in the community, being free, accessible, held daily, and allowing continuity of care from skilled health professionals; and further declares that King’s College Hospital has announced that it intends to recall these specialist midwives with basic training, without any obvious expert support, and this will leave women with complicated needs without adequate support, advice or referral to hospital services; and that around 4,000 people have signed a petition to protest against the proposed end of current staffing arrangements.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons require the Department of Health to urge King’s College Hospital to preserve the existing staffing arrangements of the Lambeth and Southwark Milk Spots, and to investigate other means of sharing skills among its midwives.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Helen Hayes, Official Report, 21 July 2015; Vol. 598, c. 1464.]


Observations from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jane Ellison): The Department of Health understands that the trust is continuing to provide midwifery support for the Milk Spots cafes in Lambeth and Southwark.

The trust will ensure that the cafés are staffed by experienced midwives with other community midwives working alongside them, in order to facilitate skill sharing and mentoring.

The midwives at the Milk Spots cafés will be supported in their work by infant feeding support workers. Together, the midwives and infant feeding support workers will be able to support mothers who are breastfeeding, as well as diagnose tongue tie, and make referrals to specialists at King’s. They will also provide other services in the community as necessary.

Lambeth Council has initiated a review of the Milk Spots and the service they café provide, with particular emphasis on vulnerable women. When the review is completed, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will continue to work with Lambeth Council to implement any recommendations to ensure there is ongoing provision of support for women and families.