AN “ANGRY and let down” mother and GP who relied on an infant breastfeeding advisers did not publicise her petition to save the role because it was approved after changes occurred.

Lucy Langford, 34, of Woodford Green, started the petition, which runs until November, to save the role of specialist advisers who supported mothers’ bottle and breastfeeding needs.

However, the petition, which was approved in June, started after the activist discovered the role would be integrated into the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme in April.

General advisers have since replaced specialised ones following the restructuring by Public Health Redbridge and service provider North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT).

Ms Langford, who used a baby feeding café in South Woodford, voiced dismay about the way the process was handled and felt she could not promote the petition because of the timing of its approval.

“I haven’t publicised it because by the time it was approved the changes had happened, people lost their jobs and it was all done and dusted. The only people who would have signed it are those who go on the website themselves.

“I felt let down and angry by how it was handled. The people running the clinics were going to lose their jobs. I felt let down by the powers-at-be for changing the system and not being transparent about it.

“I think I was quite lucky because I got the support. The café still exists but the people running them have the bare minimum training. If I had any more children I am not sure what the service would be like now.”

The constant changing of staff now does not allow mothers to build a one-to-one relationship with an adviser.

“In terms of supporting early breastfeeding it’s time critical.

“Rotating staff does not give you the chance to build a relationship. It was much more efficient beforehand,” she warned.

The petition, which runs until November, came too late to save the role after only being approved in June.

Redbridge’s Infant Feeding Service supports mums with advice on bottle and breast feeding.

Advisers also conducted home visits to ensure babies were fed properly.

Mothers across Redbridge were able to go to cafes in Wanstead, South Woodford, Woodford Green and elsewhere to get help from specialist advisers.

“In terms of cutting costs, you can save the NHS more money by helping mothers. Basic training is not going to cut it- it’s too generalised.

The Guardian has approached NELFT for comment.

Click here to sign the petition.