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Jenny Rathbone AM Supports Launch of MASIC in Wales

The MASIC (Mothers with Anal Sphincter Injuries in Childbirth) Foundation was launched in Wales on Tuesday the 26th September at the National Assembly for Wales.

Over 50 people attended the launch, including patients, health campaigners and clinicians from across five health boards. The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being, and Sport, Vaughan Gething, also attended. 

The MASIC Foundation is a registered charity which supports mothers who experience anal sphincter injuries during childbirth, which can often result in bowel incontinence. Latest statistics suggest that over 10% of women having a baby vaginally may suffer some form of bowel incontinence.

The evening, hosted by Jenny Rathbone, included presentations by Dr. Julie Cornish, a consultant and colorectal surgeon at Cwm Taf UHB, Professor Michael Keighley, President of the MASIC Foundation, and Simon Emery, consultant and uro-gynaecologist at ABMUHB. Testimonies from those affected were also be heard, in order to consider how the medical profession could help improve outcomes and change healthcare policy to reduce the impact of birth injuries on the health of mothers.

Jenny Rathbone said:

“In the last ten years, the numbers of women disabled by third and fourth degree tears during labour as increased three-fold. We need to raise awareness of the issue in order to stop mothers suffering in silence.”

Baroness Cumberlege CBE (Head of the National Maternity Review and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health from 1992 to 1997) said:

"The MASIC Foundation aims to reduce the incidence of birth injury as well as help new mothers who are suffering from its symptoms which are too often hidden from society. These issues are crucial to the future wellbeing of these women and their families."

Jenny Rathbone Supports Launch of MASIC in Wales

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Ahead of the 'Live Music Protection in Wales' debate in the Welsh Assembly on Wednesday 12th July, Julie Morgan AM and I took the Welsh Government Minister responsible, Lesley Griffiths, to meet the Save Womanby Campaigners.

Womanby Street is part of what makes Cardiff such a great cultural city, and it must be protected. I am really pleased that Lesley Griffiths has acted so quickly. I was delighted to be able to show the Cabinet Secretary what this change in policy would mean for Womanby Street and its campaigners. Planning is a devolved issue, so it's a good example of how devolved Government can get issues addressed in a timely fashion.

Lesley Griffiths said:
"I'm very pleased to meet the campaigners today and they've impressed upon me how important Womanby Street is to the Capital City of Wales. I have asked my officials to revise Planning Policy Wales to ensure that the Agent of Change principle is explicitly referenced, and have written to all local authorities to inform them of the changes."

Under the Agent of Change principle, if new developments are to be introduced near a pre-existing business, such as live music venues, it is the developer's responsibility to ensure that solutions to address and mitigate the noise are put forward.

On May 19th, Lesley Griffiths responded to the AMs and agreed to amend Planning Guidance to include the  'Agent of Change' principle into updated national planning policy. The Minister also confirmed that Planning Policy Wales will be updated to allow the designation of areas of cultural significance for music within Local Development Plans (LDP).

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My meeting with Womanby Street Campaigners, Julie Morgan AM and Lesley Griffiths

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Jenny Rathbone | Assembly Member for Cardiff Central

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