Labour experience at St Thomas hospital

I was treated very well with the exception of a couple of people who I saw. When I went for my 12 week scan, I saw a sonographer – I can’t remember what she said to me but I didn’t like the way she was towards me or her attitude. When I went for my 20 week scan, I remembered I had a bad experience during my 12 week scan so I came prepared and took note of my sonographers name. She was so rude – because of her, I started missing all my hospital and GP appointments as I felt very uncomfortable. When I went in, she didn’t even say hello or give me any eye contact – she just told me to get on the bed. She didn’t let me see the scan of my baby until towards the end. When I told her I couldn’t see, she just ignored me. She didn’t even explain what she was doing or measuring or anything. My partner asked her if we could know the sex of the baby and she just looked at him and ignored him.

She then told me to walk around because the baby was in an awkward position. I told my partner to help me up as I was feeling faint and she started shouting at me. She said, “Can the two of you stop talking and do as I say? It’s after 4pm and I don’t know about the two of you, but I want to go home. So can you hurry up?” I was shocked and upset and sick. I wanted to walk out but my partner convinced me to stay.

Before we left, she asked us if we wanted any pictures and I said “yes please”. I don’t think she heard me say ‘please’ because she said “Yes what?!” My partner repeated what I said. I felt as though I was having to beg for a photo with the way she was talking to me.

When we were going to pay for the photo, she demanded the money form us and because my partner had gel on hid right hand, he gave her the money from his left. She gave him a dirty look and said “I don’t want the money from your left hand, I want it form your right” I thought her behaviour and attitude was very rude, unprofessional and uncalled for. A lady like that should not interact with sensitive patients like myself in that manner. If I had the time, energy and confidence then, I would have immediately made a complaint.

Also, while I was asleep, my contractions started at 4am. By 9am, they were every 5 minutes so I made my way down to the hospital. When I got there, as there were a few people in front of me, I did not get seen until 4pm. By then I was in so much pain but I tried to keep myself under control as I was previously suffering from panic attacks.

When I did see someone I was upset because she said, “There are a lot of people waiting to be seen and, no offence, you don’t look like you’re in pain so I’m going to send you home.” I was so disappointed it brought tears to my eyes and the pain felt worse. I had travelled two hours on a bus just to get sent back without even being examined. Not only that, I was on my own and I had never been to an antenatal class as the hospital did not contact me for any classes.

She was about to discharge me when a doctor came and told her to examine me before I left. I felt dizzy and started to throw up. When she examined me, a doctor came back and told me that I was a few centimetres dilated and I would not be going home.

After that, the treatment I got was fantastic. I fell asleep and was comfortable.

In the evening I was transferred to a night nurse. Although she was quite nice to me, she was very rough and heavy handed – I felt more pain every time she touched me than I did when I felt a contraction. When I told my partner, he said that he could see that.

I also did not like the way she was getting angry and frustrated with me during the delivery. I did not know what I was doing and she kept telling me to do what I practised in the antenatal classes. I told her many times that I have never been to an antenatal class and I could she that she was getting annoyed.

In the end, when she gave me the baby, I saw he had a big dent in his head. My partner told me the midwife did not wait for me to push the baby out (she dragged him out) and that the dent was from her finger print. That also showed me that she was heavy handed and I wasn’t just imagining things.

After that, the care and treatment I got was so amazing I don’t think it could have got any better. I would also like to mention the care I received from the trainee midwife, as this was so fantastic.


Great customer care at the antenatal clinic.

I am 4 months pregnant and I have already had my first scan at St Thomas’. The person who performed the scan was absolutely brilliant, they made the experience one of the best ones ever.

I spoke several times to a member of staff regarding my midwife appointment who was not helpful whatsoever. Eventually I got through to someone who promised that someone would call me back asap. Five minutes I received a call and the person was able to resolve my issue in approximately 5m. Great customer service!


In and out of A&E in 45mins!

I attended A&E on a recent Friday evening. The nurse who did my initial assessment was fantastic and sent me round to UCC.

Once there, I was seen within 10 mins and referred for an x-ray. As soon as I sat down in x-ray, I was called in and then sent back to UCC. The wonderful nurse, Kim, saw me again straight away and explained my problem. She has referred me to a hospital closer to home (my choice) and gave me excellent advice.

Couldn’t be happier with my treatment and the staff.


Issues with cancer care at St Thomas’

My friend had colon cancer. She had major surgery and a stoma.

She was vegetarian. It was impossible to find anything that she could eat from the hospital cafes etc. She was not allowed many vegetables, brown or granary bread and did not eat meat. There seemed to be no awareness of the needs of people in her position.

When she was an in-patient she was only once admitted to a cancer ward, the other admissions were to medical wards where she was nursed in isolation. There were repeated occasions when she was not offered the menu and therefore did not receive any food. When she was given food no-one appeared to notice whether or not she had eaten it, she often did not in fact. Because of her dietary problems we asked for a dietician to visit her but this did not happen.

Another point about her in-patient stays is that when she was given medication in pill form the staff did not check whether or not she had taken it. On many occasions when I visited her I found pills on her table. She did not like taking pills, but this meant that she, and the staff, were not complying with what was prescribed by the Drs and not complying with her care plan.

All this was happening throughout 2010 / the early part of 2011. She died in early 2011.


A lack of basic care in the postnatal ward

My wife has given birth a couple of days ago at St Thomas’s hospital by an elective C-Section. We have experienced most units in St Thomas’s in regards to baby pre care and indeed when things have gone wrong in the past.

Our experiences of the midwives are very good previously and mostly now too. They are worked so hard yet do a very under-rated job and we’ve had some great relationships with them.

However the initial care in the postnatal ward after the c-section has left us somewhat stunned and is very concerning.

I have left my wife tonight with her being devastated and pretty much inconsolable. She is having the classic lack of sleep from a newborns demands, yet has had to put up with a high level of neglect and I’d go as far as saying lack of basic care… as in no care.

Since she was moved there she went over 24 hours without another visit from a midwife. We had to make a very large scene to get her catheter emptied (it only took 5 hours of chasing, one full catheter and no ability to give me a bucket to empty it myself). She was still lying there in her blood covered operating gown, full catheter (which was meant to be removed earlier), no one to care or clean her wound and ladies pads and also large gaps between pain killers without chasing for hours.

The Dr said that she could go home the next day and that her catheter would be removed and they’d get her walking by noon to lower the risk of blood clots and get her so that she could care for our baby at night more. We got no such thing and the catheter is still in and we had to argue and chase for hours yet again to get her standing well after 24 hours of surgery (she could move her feet and legs a couple of hours after surgery).

Basic hygiene has gone out of the window, no advice on anything and ignored buzzers suggest that the workforce is very understaffed and inadequate to offer the most basic care. Today I experienced many women crying about neglect, one who should have had her anti-clotting injection nearly 12 hours previously and had chased all day to no avail.

I am severely disappointed in St Thomas’s and would like an explanation as to why no one will care for my wife and clean her, change her bedding, remove her catheter, encourage and support her in walking for the first time and provide her adequate pain killers when needed. Also when the baby cries at night, she can’t pick it up and no one answers the buzzer or changes nappy when soiled.

I will be looking more into this as it has been emotionally devastating for my wife and has made her struggle more with staying calm for our baby and in its care. She feels like a prisoner with no support or basic hygiene provided.


My Lymes experience

I was infected by a tick last year in June, but didn’t get the full EM so the GP did not believe I had Lymes. But in the two months after my exposure, even with less work than I had before following redundancy from a part time job, I found myself really struggling to fulfil my obligations and at one point had excruciating pain at the bottom of my spine which seemed to radiate sideways. I have been using homeopathy for over twenty years so that was my first option, and Borellia 30c taken in 3 doses 2hrs apart, in the evening, enabled me to bounce out of bed for the first time in months and that pain vanished. But homeopathic remedies are easy to antidote, and this I did by exposure to the smell of cloves after which I started to feel less well again. Then my homeopath was away looking after her very aged mother, and I went to my GP, who looked at my “EM” and me and said she didn’t think I had Lymes, but I was insistent, so she prescribed the standard antibiotic for two weeks, but after the first blood test came back negative only a week after i had started the antibiotics , she told me to stop. She should not have done this. apparently the provider of the standard tests for Lyme state that in case of a negative result, treatment for Lyme should not be stopped. So I have continued with homeopathy but its not all plain sailing because it has been easy unfortunately with this disease, to “prove the remedy”, by taking too much of it, to soon. So I have resorted to a few different remedies, for my joints ( Ruta 30C) Borrelia 200C for the whole thing, Arsenicum 30C for the whole thing, Ledum 30C for my skin, and finally Rose Quartz 6C for when I am feeling most negative, safest as as it is a low potency . I understand that few people consider homeopathy as an option, but it really does make a difference, if one is careful with it.

However I went back to the allopathic surgery, and got an appt for St Thomas’s where I was amazingly enough told that the one week of antibiotics should have been enough…. The specialist said they would order blood tests, but I don’t think they are going to ask for the western blot test, and there was no discussion suggesting the Elisa test.

It seems appalling to me, that in my experience allopathic doctors don’t listen to their patients, who after all are the ones who actually know what Lymes is like. So that is two doctors that have disappointed me, my GP, and then the infectious diseases specialist at St Thomas’s, who seemed very sympathetic, but I felt was just humouring me, and now I have to wait for a phone call in 2.5 weeks to get the latest test result. I doubt that it will be positive, as the previous night I had taken a Ruta 30C because of pain in my joints, and then just an orange for breakfast the next morning, so it would have been in my skin or just below. But the specialist seemed completely unwilling to take a skin scraping. They actually seemed out of their depth when I suggested this.

Without homeopathy I would not have been able to maintain my hours as a Music Teacher


Some concerns about A&E care

The trainee doctors and nurses were great but the stand in doctor was not. His English was poor, he had no empathy and told me I probably had a cold in my organs when in fact it was a bad kidney infection.

He discharged me from A&E when my temperature was too high, so the nurse had to call me back in to put me on a drip. The ‘stand in’ doctor also forgot to ask me if I was allergic to any medication and ticked ‘no’ on the prescription slip.

Once I got to the pharmacy dispensary, staff asked if I had any allergies and I did, so they weren’t pleased with the doctor either.


Birth of my daughter

I had high blood pressure towards the end of my pregnancy.

This meant that I had to go to the antenatal day unit every 2 days for the last three weeks of my pregnancy.

This was quite scary as anyone who has have severly high blood pressure will know. I was put on medication to control it (it stayed stabl but high). I had to wait up to three hours on occasions to see a midwife.

When I did see them they were all very nice and professional, but hugely under staffed and stressed due to constant staff shortages.

I couldn’t help but feel I was the only english woman giving birth in London.

It was decided that I needed to be induced (don’t do it unless absolutely necessary).

This was the worst experience of my life and this is no exageration.

The room was filthy blood on the stirups, floor, bathroom and birthing bars.

It took nearly 3 days all in all the first midwife was nice and very kind. Her shift ended and I wasn’t even checked on for hours on end .

I felt the next midwife was very rude and quite agressive – not something you need if your in pain.

To cut a very very long story short because of staff shortages my birth was very poorly managed. I went through every process to get the baby out and very nearly ended in emeregency ceasaren after 3 days!!

I had to have several epidurals and am still suffering now 5 months later.

I was a perfectly healthy person before all this and since have had constant problems and I can’t help but feeling let down by the national health service.

zara 22

Excellent Pain Management at St Thomas’ Hospital

This is high quality service that needs to be more widely available. I have CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), this course has helped me to increase my range of movement and mobility. The information I have allows me to make my own decisions regarding more invasive treatment. Overall the staff are highly professional and provide an excellent service, particularly medical and nursing staff, whilst this is marred by a rather patronising approach from one or two others, this is a minor point when taking into account the overall value of this programme and the potential it has to make a real difference to quality of life.

I can’t support this approach enough. I realise that it has been expensive for my PCT, but in terms of changing the lives of people with chronic pain, it demonstrates real value. I was very unsure about the course when the consultant suggested it, I couldn’t see that it would help me, but I was wrong.