Poor antenatal midwife care

I was seen by community midwives ego failed to alert me to the fact that my baby would be large despite my constant asking (I was massive when pregnant and gained a lot of weight). I was told that I was being silly and that my baby measured small to average. Nonetheless when I was 41 weeks pregnant another midwife saw me instead of my usual “experienced” community midwife and they recommended that I have a growth scan. On having the growth scan a week after due date I was told the baby was estimated to be 10lb by the sonographer. There was no follow up consultation as I was booked for induction 4 days later( 41+4). On arriving for my induction the baby’s size was barely mentioned the induction process began and I went home to wait for signs of labour. A few hours later they began and I was readmitted. After contracting for over 30 hours and only dilating 3cm I was told by consultants that evening that they would be breaking my waters the next morning as they wanted me to try and get some rest first. During the consultation they referred to the baby’s size for the first time and asked whether I was aware of any risks involved with having a large baby especially as I suffer from anaemia. My husband and I looked at each other confused. The doctor then told us that we would need a consultant present at the birth in case of severe blood loss and also due to baby’s size I would likely tear and had a very high chance of the baby having shoulder distosia (not sure of spelling) meaning he could deprived of oxygen during labour and could suffer a disability or even worse not make it safely into the world. This was undoubtedly the scariest moment of my life I felt so let down by my so called experienced midwife as I felt completely unprepared for this. The consultant assured me that in some cases shoulder distosia doesn’t occur but nonetheless they recommended an emergency cesarean section to avoid the risks involved. However staff stressed that I should have been alerted to baby’s size and the risks involved from much earlier in the pregnancy & that I was failed by my midwife and the staff who performed the induction. Luckily the next morning my son arrived safely following the operation. However I contracted an infection and was on antibiotics for over a month post delivery. I was sent home just 48 hours after the operation only to be readmitted a few days later. I refused another readmission a week after that. What should have been an amazing precious time with my first born was traumatic and very upsetting for all involved.


Impressed by my care for prostate cancer

I had the good fortune to be advised, operated on and taken care of by Miss J Macdonald (consultant) and treated by Oncology Specialist nurse Juliana Burke.

I was most impressed by the professional and also personal care I had from both the aforementioned and also by the associated staff in their department. Even when I was treated in Radiology by Dr Neave, Miss Macdonald and Juliana still took interest in my wellbeing and did take care of me.

For this I am very grateful and congratulate North Middlesex Hospital Trust for having provided me with such first class service. I also noted that the same first class service seemed to be meted out to other patients who were being treated at the same time as me.

Thanks again.


Antenatal care

I want to share my story on antenatal care at North Middlesex Hospital (NMH). Unfortunately, I had two late miscarriages there. My experience was mixed; I think NMH has some very good consultants that provide high standard of care and advice. But it is very difficult to get to see a consultant and I felt I was left to deal with midwives who were careless and clueless.

I still don’t understand, why you can not have your scan and midwives appointment on the same date to save you going there twice for example?

You can not go to day unit until 20 weeks and if you have complications you have to go to A&E. I know that some hospitals in London accept patients to day clinics from as early as 14 weeks. I had dreadful experience where midwives day unit wouldn’t accept me as I was 19.5 weeks, even thought my consultant made me an appointment there. The midwife would insist on sending me to A&E and it took 15 min of what I felt was an embarrassing argument to persuade her to call the consultant and confirm that I was in the right place indeed.

I felt that probably 95% of my appointments were at least 30 min late and in one case I had to wait for 2 1/2 hours to be seen. So I would naturally ask the question, why do they give you time slot in the first place? It is different for ultrasound appointments, where the longest I ever waited was 20 min.

I felt that all my appointments with midwives were a waste of my time, they fill in a form, which I think I can easily do myself. I would only recommend the consultant lead care in NMH.


Appalling service: North Middlesex University Hospital

In December 2009 I visited the chest department at North Middx University Hospital (NMUH). During the four hours I was there I had an appalling experience that left me feeling upset and harassed.

The whole experience was a shambles. It began with me receiving my appointment letter the day before my appointment, and being told I had to give 7 days notice if I wanted to cancel or re-book. There were no proper directions to the department, and when I arrived there was no general reception area or anyone to ask. It took me over half an hour of wandering through anonymous corridors to find the Chest department.

Once in the department, I was told to take a seat, and then immediately shouted at by a nurse for sitting in the wrong waiting area. The same nurse then told me to queue with a group of other patients, and shouted at us once again for all coming to be seen at the same time. She then insisted on weighing us all, which was completely unnecessary in my case, and meant more queuing and time-wasting. I also felt that she and another nurse were bullying the more vulnerable patients, by speaking down to them and ordering them around. The nurses were very scruffy and seemed constantly annoyed, as if we were causing them trouble.

Upon returning to the main waiting room, I asked the receptionist when I was likely to be seen (my appointment should have been at 1pm and it was now 1.30). She looked completely blank and simply told me to sit down and wait. When the consultant arrived he asked me why I hadn’t had an x-ray, and blamed me for not taking the initiative and going to the x-ray department myself.

At the x-ray department, which was scruffy and dirty, I waited in another corridor with two elderly women and a man in a wheelchair with breathing apparatus. Whenever the radiologist appeared we tried to ask how long we would be waiting, but he simply told us rudely that we would be called when it was our turn. For half an hour we sat and listened to him chat to a nurse before I was finally called for my x-ray. Inside the room, I had to ask him to leave while I undressed, and after the x-ray he wanted to call in the next patient before I had finished dressing.

When I eventually saw the consultant (over an hour late) he was very friendly, although his advice was not particularly helpful. I was then taken to have breathing tests done, where I explained that I was feeling dizzy and weak. However, the person carrying out the test still insisted on testing and re-testing my breathing despite the fact that it was causing me discomfort. She conveyed the results of my breath tests to the specialist, but would not give them to me, saying I would have to wait two months to get the results.

I left the department feeling very upset and ill, and went to the canteen where I tried and failed to get a decent meal, as apparently 3pm is an inconvenient time for anyone to want to eat. Not looking forward to my follow-up appointment next month.


Terrible experience of miscarriage care

I was pregnant with twins and I went to the North Mid for a check up because I was spotting for quite sometime.

Each time I went there they took blood but never let me know what’s wrong. Over the next two weeks I was at the hospital every single day because I wasn’t feeling well, and was sent away after I had blood tests done. I am living 5 mins away from the hospital.

I was getting very, very tired and weak even though I explain to then that I have several miscarriages in the past and I don’t have any kids. My notes are with them so they can see all my doctors reports. Did they have any interest in that? No, I was basically left on my own in terms of trying to figure out what’s wrong with me.

This day in question I decided to go to a private gynae doctor, as I walk through the doors the doctor could take one look at me and told me that I am really ill, she requested a blood test and she phone up North Mid Hospital straight away to find out what’s the level of my blood count.

When I had it done the last time, my blood count was 0.5. She sent me back to North Mid to be admitted and ask for a blood transfusion, which they had denied. I was determined not to go home this time around. I told them they have to get the security to get me out because am not leaving the hospital, at that time I was 15 weeks pregnant.

I insisted on getting the blood transfusion. By then I was in the waiting room for more than three hours, my temperature went up so high, all my veins collapsed, I was shaking like a leaf, all the doctors were telling me is that it SEEMS as if I have an infection but couldn’t say what it was.

Each time I went there I have blood done but never get any results back even though I was asking for it. Three and a half hours later I was admitted onto the ward. By this time I was well known to the nurses and doctors because of my frequent visits.

I have been visiting the hospital from December up till February when I had the miscarriage in the early hour of the morning. The pain was so bad, not even the nurses would have helped me with pain killers. That was when I decided to get off the bed to call my friend to bring in some pain killers for me, that’s when I was given morphine and painkiller for the labour pain, no one was in sight, apart from one staff nurse. No one could get any sleep on the ward because I was in too much pain.

It was after I had the miscarriage and was losing the little blood I had left, that’s when I saw nurses and doctors coming in and getting me to the theatre for emergency blood transfusion. It was a horrible experience I had in February 2012.

If there was going to be a miscarriage I know there’s nothing much they can do but to simply give me pain killers was the least they could do, and why I wasn’t told that my blood count was pretty low from when I went in in January?

After I got out of the hospital I got call from my GP stating that my blood count is low and a letter was sent to me from the hospital stating that my blood count is very low, the letter was sent out after I had all the traumatic experience – that’s one month after I had the blood test done, and one month later I got another letter stating that I had a slight infection in my urine.

I was even told that I cannot have more than an early scan done and then my next scan would be at 20 weeks given the fact that I am pregnant with twins.

I pray to God I never have to even enter that hospital again. I would rather die than to head up going back to North Middlesex Hospital. Can you imagine if I was in labour having a baby?

Even to mention the name of this hospital traumatises me a lot. Having said that, the outside looks good but my treatment was horrible. The nurses I met didn’t seem to know how to speak to patients.


Lovely care but some glitches at North Middlesex Hospital

I was booked in for a laparotomy at the North Middlesex Hospital. On my arrival on the day of the surgery, I was told that the surgeon would undertake a laparoscopy which was great news as it was a less invasive procedure but I have to wonder why I was booked in for the more serious surgery in the first place.

Saying that the doctors and nursing staff were wonderful. The hospital had been newly refurbished and it showed. There was one nurse in particular who took me into the operating theatre and who was enormously sensitive to my nerves and I’ll always be grateful to her.

After I came round I was taken onto a ward and again, the ward nurses were lovely and very kind. It was a positive experience at a difficult time – however there were a few concerns that I retained.

A doctor came to see the patient opposite me. Not only was his manner very terse with her but I could also hear him making a very insensitive comment about her being stubborn, to his students, as he walked away from her bed. Luckily he wasn’t my doctor.

The discharge was also a bit of a mess. I knew I was going to be discharged quite early in the day. After lunch I was taken to the discharge lounge to wait for my prescription. The prescription was messed up and got lost and when it finally arrived (after another patient’s husband (!) offered to go up to the ward to collect it), it was wrong. I was in an enormous amount of pain and waiting in the discharge lounge which was really uncomfortably hot for about 3 hours – (and on the ward they had told me I’d be able to lie down in the discharge lounge but there weren’t any beds there!).

Also when I received a copy of my discharge letter, it gave the wrong operation on it. And they were going to send it to my GP. I mentioned this to the nurse in the discharge lounge as it could have been quite serious.

As for the human care though, it was very good.


My midwifery training at North Middlesex

I spent 3 years training as a midwife at North Middlesex and my heart goes out to the women who have had their babies there. Having come from a customer service background I was horrified, and continue to be horrified, by the appalling attitude of staff towards women and their partners.

Having completed my training I decided to start as a newly qualified midwife at a different trust as I had absolutely no intention of working at North Middlesex, despite having been offered a job. My training was poor and I cannot say that I enjoyed any part of it.

I have since worked at two different trusts since qualifying 10 years ago and have had a completely different experience. I am extremely proud of the care delivered in my current trust and appreciate that the the ‘care’ I witnessed at North Middlesex would never be tolerated here. I left North Mid years ago and had hoped it might have improved. It is depressing to read that things do not seem very different from how they were back then.

former student midwife

My experience at North Middx. Hospital.

I had to wait 3 months for my appointment at North Middx. Hospital. When I saw the Consultant in cardiology, he did not have the results of the Echocardiogram taken at Kings Oak Hospital or the blood tests and Ecg. taken at Chase Farm Hospital. I asked about the 24 hour tape that was taken at North Middx. The Consultant went out to reception to ask and returned to inform me that the tape had been laying around and nobody had looked at it. I then had to wait another 3 months for the results. I was informed in December that my next appointment was June, I need to see the Consultant before this date, when I rang North. Middx. to request this I was told that I would have to go to my local docter and he would have to request this. I cannot believe this is happening.


Poor attitudes of staff makes me not want to give birth in this hospital

I went in for my first scan when I found out I was pregnant. The receptionists (a young guy and older woman) were more interested in discussing how FAT some mums to be were and took their time to even acknowledge me standing in front of them. Upon my first appt with the midwife, her door kept opening with other nurses interrupting us and her phone kept going. Not once did she apologise. The second time I went, my Husband came with me and he asked the midwife “is she has a lock on the door?”, as once again we were interrupted by nurses coming in asking “wanna cup of tea, what you doing tonight?”, when the midwife was in the middle of telling us about the seriousness of Downs Syndrome!

Generally, I can handle certain rudeness, but this is beyond that, this is my first child so maybe I am a bit on edge, but I DO NO WANT to be giving birth in this hospital and have gone out of my way to complain and get a transfer.

If this is the service I receive from just going in for a scan imagine what it would be like if I were in labour!! Doesn’t bear thinking about!


Nurses making too much noise

My father was admitted over the easter bank holiday for a minor stroke. On the ward some of the nurses were sat at their desks and I could hear them making very loud phonecalls for at least half an hour. I could hear them checking prices for holidays, some of them were swearing. I feel this showed they were generally not interested in the care of the patients like my father on the ward.