Upset by attitudes of staff on Primrose ward

Where do I start? My daughter was brought up to Primrose ward after a very traumatic delivery in which my daughter who had really low platelets ended up having epidural and forceps delivery. On arrival at the ward we were met by a group of midwives who weren’t aware that she was being brought up and were really stroppy about not having a bed ready. Great start!

After daughter was eventually found bed she was left to it, even though she couldn’t move after epidural. Baby started vomiting fresh blood, daughters partner notified midwife. 20 minutes later the baby got checked over.

The midwives I met on this ward were extremely rude and arrogant. I felt they were not very nice at all.

Daughter was left from day one till day 3 in a dirty bed covered in blood. She was also left in a gown covered in blood with no help to get showered and changed, this again was left to her partner (after epidural). She had to keep asking for painkillers, none offered.

A midwife asked daughter’s partner to change the baby as baby’s temp had dropped and because he got a vest instead of a babygrow, she was nasty to him (these are first time parents).

Baby was eventually taken to the neonatal unit. It took them 2 hours to sort a drip out for daughter, after she’d asked specifically if they would do it so she could go and feed her son in neonatal.

My daughter’s partner was allowed to stay on ward 24 hrs a day and he asked for something to sleep on, but he got nothing, not even a chair. Then he got shouted at like a child, for being on the bed.

Then to top it off, my daughter was given 10 minutes to leave her room when she was discharged. Baby was still in neonatal so she was distraught. No support, no help to move her belongings, nothing.

All in all, I feel the things I and other visitors to my daughter on Primrose ward have witnessed have been utterly disgraceful. I have never seen midwives on any ward with such bad attitudes as the ones I met on Primrose. I felt they were the rudest, most ill-mannered, uncaring staff I have ever known. Sarcastic comments to my husband who asked for a vase for flowers and was told “oh, we’ll just check the John Lewis vase department” disgusting. I didn’t come across one nice nurse/midwife at all (apart from cleaners and canteen staff).

I feel the treatment my daughter and her partner and her visitors got from these people was totally unacceptable. I would never recommend the Manor maternity. I will be putting in a formal complaint about the way people are treated on this ward.



I was given the usual painkillers that did not help at all. They were restricted a bit as I can not take NSAIDS owing to other medication. I was then referred to a physiotherapist. No help there so I was given acupuncture. Weeks of waiting each time.

I was eventually referred to the pain clinic. I waited 16 weeks for this. At no time have I had a scan. I finally had a caudal epidural and an injection.

This has made it considerably worse! The GP put me on morphine to try and control the agonising pain which it did not. The dose has been increased but hardly helping. The side effects are most unpleasant.

I am now waiting another three months for my next appointment, living a life of agony.It is now just one week away from being one year since the start of the sciatica.


Poor care and communication from Corbett and Russells Hall Hospitals

What was supposed to be a day case procedure has now turned into a 4 week epic. My partner walked into Corbett’s to have a caudal epidural- an injection to ease back pain and was told he’d be back at home for his lunch. He felt the needle go in and was in severe pain. I was phoned to say he had been ‘dead-legged’ and I shouldn’t worry, he’d be back to normal within 24 hrs, but failed to tell me that everyone else had got up and gone home. It took them 5 hours to transfer him to Russell’s Hall. He had no feeling in both legs for 3 days, then got movement back in his one leg. He is now reliant on 2 crutches and a wheelchair to get about.

I’ve had no explanation of what’s wrong with him and his expected recovery time. The consultant did speak to him, but my other half was so spaced out on morphine and painkillers, he can’t remember what was said to him. I’ve never even spoken to a consultant/ doctor and I’m down as his next of kin. He’s been rushed back in through a referral from a physio, still no doctor nor consultant. No explanation of whats wrong and if/when he’ll recover. We’re absolutely furious and anxious as this affects not just the patient but all our family. I feel this was all absolutely atrocious.


My terrible birth story

I am expecting my second child and it’s only now I can tell my story of my first birth experience at Leighton. I had wonderful care from the midwifes leading up to the birth, but I think all that changed when the baby arrived.

I was 12 days over my due date when I was admitted for an induction. I arrived at the hospital on the Friday and was kept waiting in the waiting room for about an hour until my bed was ready – I was a bit perplexed as to why I was kept waiting, because when I arrived on the ward all 4 beds were empty. I was made to feel very welcome by the midwives and some of them I recognised from my appointments. I was given a gel to try and start the labour and was told I would have a maximum of 3. I started to feel discomfort after about 10 minutes so I was hoping things were on their way. No such luck!

I was administered three gels and still only dilated by 1cm by Sunday I was exhausted because I had no sleep, the internal exams were painful and I felt the consultant was really rough to the point that I cried when they walked in the room. The consultant said that they wanted to give me one more gel on Sunday morning; I was mortified, tired in pain and felt really fed up. Sunday afternoon my parents and husband got me walking up and down the corridor and finally at 5.45 the contractions started. I was checked again at 10pm and told that I was only about 3cms, but then the pain started to really intensify. I pleaded with the midwife for some pain relief but she said I was fine, I was given pethadine at 11pm and slept for the first time in 3 days for 20 minutes. The pethadine then wore off and I was crawling the walls, I told them it had got worse and I felt like no one seemed to be listening, they were coming thick and fast.

Eventually the midwife said to me that they’ll take her downstairs give me an epidural to keep me quiet. When I arrived downstairs I was greeted by 2 fantastic midwives, they gave me gas and air and I immediately felt relief. She checked me and went blimey you have done well, you are 9cms – I don’t feel like I had done well at all, I feel like I had no choice. In my opinion, I was just left with no pain relief because I felt like they didn’t believe me.

They then took the babies stats and they realised he was in great distress – I wasn’t surprised. They did some tests gave me and epidural and then whisked me off for an emergency C-Section. My son was born on the Monday morning at 6am. He was gorgeous!

I was then taken to a side ward and really looked after on Monday, although I was so out of it I wouldn’t know. On Tuesday the midwives came in took out my tubes, drip etc and thus ends my care. I was put back on the ward and was made to feel like I was left alone. It took me 45 minutes to get to the toilet because I had to crawl there. I could hear my baby crying and I couldn’t get back and visiting hours had not started. I was really in severe pain and my legs didn’t work properly.

I did not get any assistance breastfeeding and one midwife said to me they were too busy, just give him a bottle, which he projectile vomited everywhere. My breasts were so sore because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was in tears.

By Thursday I felt so fed up with the care, I discharged myself so that my husband could look after me at home.

I feel petrified about the prospect of this birth and have opted for an alternative hospital. I am sure this isn’t a reflection of everybody’s experience but I would not like to go though it again. Some of the midwives were fantastic and I am sure they were under a great deal of pressure because it became very busy after my son was born. I just pray that my next experience is better.

Cheshire Mummy

Neglected on Gynae Ward

I was back and forth from Barnet Early Pregnancy Unit for over two weeks for an ectopic pregnancy. Once it was diagnosed, I was given a choice for surgical tube removal or an injection and close monitoring. I was terrified of losing my reproductive parts and having a major surgery so I opted for the medical management and methotrexate injection.

Unfortunatlely it didn’t work and a week later I had a rupture. I walked into Barnet A&E and told them I had an ectopic and believed I had ruptured and was in extreme pain. After waiting 20 minutes my brother arrived at A&E and was shocked I hadn’t been seen straight away! He demanded they assess me and I was admitted to the emergency gynae ward. Even though they knew I had a life threatening diagnosis they left me with internal bleeding on that ward for over 20 hours with a morphine drip waiting for a simple ultrasound!

I kept asking the nurses when I would get the scan and they said when ultrasound team was ready they would call me. They knew I was in pain and kept offering me drugs. They kept me nil by mouth and kept pumping fluilds and morphine into me. When my fiance arrived the next day he was stunned that I hadn’t been seen and threatened to take me to another hospital right away. The ultrasound team then gave me a scan and said none of the nurses has told them about me!

They found I had a ruptured right tube and internal bleeding and was told I need emergency surgery. My fiance was so angry and didn’t trust Barnet with the surgery after the complete mess they had already made, the doctor kept apologising but we were fed up and I was so frightened, so I self discharged and he took me straight to West Middlesex hospital where they successfully performed emergency laproscopic surgery to remove my right tube and everything was resolved within 6 hours. This was my first experience being hospitalised on the NHS as I’ve had private before. I thought this must be how all NHS services are, but West Middlesex was fantastic. They kept trying to ring Barnet to get my records and no one at Barnet would answer the phones!

I am so angry and shocked by the care at Barnet, the gynaecology ward (Willow Ward) is nurse-led and it seems that non of the staff are accountable to anyone. It wasn’t just me, other ladies were being neglected as well. One lady next to me had lost all feeling from the waist down after an epidural for a hsyterectomy. I witnessed a nurse vernally abuse an elderly patient. It was terrifying. The nurses were rude, loud, had foul attitudes and poor team communication. The outpatient EPU care was fantastic but the care on the ward was absolutely shocking, it was like the Francis report and Mid Staffordshire scandal come to life.

Michelle N

Left with negative memories

Pre-Assessment: All the various pre-assessment tests and interviews and the interview with the surgeon (Mr A Windsor) were excellent and gave a great deal of confidence to my wife and myself prior to surgery as a result of a rectal tumour.

Day 0: Admission and Operation Day

The admission to surgery and pre-surgery interviews were excellent. As I came round the aura of professionalism and care gave me confidence that I was in good hands and this continued when I was taken into the Critical Care Unit (CCU).

Day 1

My care in the CCU continued to be excellent day and night. I realised that, as I was able to pass wind and that I had virtually no pain, the surgery had been absolutely first rate. I was tested for the effectiveness of the epidural and it seemed to be near 100% effective and I was able to sit in my chair for one hour.

I was taken from the CCU onto a standard ward during the afternoon. On arrival I was still fairly groggy as I was wheeled into this new strange environment. Very shortly after arrival the sister was beside my bed shouting (as it seemed to me) that everything must be tidy, then she tried to fix my epidural onto a mobile stand and on failing to do so and seemed to me to become cross with it and then shouted for another nurse to come and fix it. She also seemed to have some trouble fixing it and there seemed to be a big fuss around me. I found it most disturbing and it would have been even more disturbing had I been of a more sensitive disposition. However, after all the commotion died down I was left without being introduced to anyone and without the nurse call button being left within my reach. I think I was certainly not made to feel at all comfortable particularly psychologically. During that night I needed to use the call button. I called out and the patient diagonally opposite me said I would need to call louder to make myself heard. I tried, unsuccessfully, but then the same patient used his call button. Eventually a nurse came and attended to me.

Day 2

The ward round was at approximately 09.00, the doctors asked how I felt and I said quite good considering. They didn’t look at my wounds or abdomen. A little later I noticed that my abdomen was very swollen and my testicles and penis were both very swollen and becoming more red as time went by. As I had not been warned about this I became concerned. I tried to find out from the nursing staff whether this was serious but nobody could answer. Not until the stoma nurse came round and then subsequently the Enhanced Recovery Nurse that I was told by both of them that it was a normal side effect. (I had been warned about many side effects before the operation but I don’t believe this one.)

I asked for some of the Ensure drinks and informed the assistant nurse and staff nurse that I was on the enhanced recovery programme. However, it seemed to me neither of them knew about either of them. It was not until the night staff came on that someone knew about it and I was able to obtain some Ensure. At this stage I still had the epidural, an arterial blood monitor, an abdominal drain and a catheter. I did not feel like I was encouraged to get out of bed despite the fact that the enhanced recovery programme had that as part of the programme. I did later get myself up and walked around the ward. However, on one occasion I asked for urine bag to be emptied but it did not happen until another shift came on. On another occasion I felt intimidated not to ask as I did not want to encounter what I felt was the unpleasant attitude of some of the immediate staff. This meant I had to carry the bag as there was no facility to attach it on to the mobile epidural stand. On one occasion there was more than 1.5 litres of urine in total and I realised that this weighed more than the “kettle” that I had been warned I should not lift for at least 6 weeks after the operation. The force required to prise the urine bag off the bed frame was also much more than lifting a kettle.

Later I noticed that the abdominal drain seemed to be clogged up and nothing was draining out. I also thought that either my lower wound or my catheter was leaking. (It later turned out that it was the abdominal drain that was leaking directly from the wound site onto them.) I asked the nursing staff to attend to this but no one came.

When my stoma bag was quite full my wife asked if someone could empty it. She was told by the staff nurse that I could empty it myself (I had not been tutored as to how to do this at this stage). My wife said that I had five drip leads dangling loose from my hand and that it was impossible to change the bag without contaminating the ends of them with the excrement. A little later a nurse came and in my opinion very grudgingly, roughly and painfully emptied the bag. In fact I landed up blaming my wife (I think most unfairly) for the pain caused because she had complained about my treatment.

At this stage I feel I had not been given or offered a clean hospital gown (mine was stained with the fluids from the leaking drain), help with, or an offer, as to how I could shave or wash since I came to the ward. My wife asked if that was something that a patient’s family should be doing. After a while a bowl of warm water and a towel was brought.

During the day my stoma bag was emptied for me and a small amount seeped onto my bedding and also seeped through to the bottom sheet. I was made to feel I was being difficult when I asked for it to be changed. It was eventually done after I replied to the nursing assistant’s comment that “It wasn’t much,” by asking if it was alright for me to sleep on it and under it all night.

Later the stoma nurse came and bound up my loose drip leads and helped me empty and change my stoma bag. He also cut off the bulk of the exposed part of my abdominal drain and applied a small stoma type bag over it. Later in the afternoon the drain bag was quite full and I asked if it should be emptied, I was told that it could wait. Later that evening when I lay down the bag burst open and all the contents went over me, my pyjamas and the bedclothes. One of the night staff changed them for me and gave me a clean pair of pyjamas.

In the early hours I read my notes as they had been left on my bed and saw that during the doctor’s round that morning there was an instruction in the Surgical Review section to take my drain out. I note here that it did not actually come out until Day 4 (two full days after the instruction).

Day 3

I emptied my stoma bag but was told off for emptying the contents into the WC, however, I had not been told what the correct procedure was. Later, after asking, I was given two different sets of instructions as to what I should do. One set of instructions was that I should keep it to be inspected and the other that it did not matter and I should flush it away myself.

In the morning the epidural and catheter were taken out and I was put on a morphine drip. This made me very disoriented and unable to concentrate. I was not told that I should move around to help get the bladder operating. I was eventually told this. Later in the day my blood pressure was taken and it was fluctuating considerably. Three different machines were tried and I was told that a manual one would be brought but it did not come. I think I was missed out by the pain control team on their rounds but fortunately a nurse came and realised that I should be taken off the morphine and given alternative analgesics.

I managed to maintain a reasonable frame of mind despite, but not because of, the immediate day nursing staff. In complete contrast a day staff nurse from the same floor came twice and made the beds in the morning, she had a big smile and a friendly manner and after the short periods while she made my bed I felt in considerably better spirits. Generally the night staff were very good. They mostly introduced themselves, acted with kindness and provided a good nursing service cheerfully

My general nursing treatment improved a bit after my wife aske done of the nurses to be a bit kinder to me. Both my wife and myself got the impression that both she and her helper did not want to be there.

Day 4

My abdominal drain out was, at last, taken out.

Day 5

Uneventful, different nursing staff on duty with a different and better attitude and hence better atmosphere.

Day 6

Told I would be discharged and this was conducted efficiently.

I would like to reiterate my thanks for the magnificent core treatment I received, I feel privileged to have been a recipient of it. Whilst this was the most crucial aspect of my treatment, some of the poor nursing care I received did disturb me and upset my family. It is unfortunate that we have been left with those negative memories when all the other aspects of my treatment and outcome have been so positive.


Mixed experiences of hip replacement surgery

The initial introduction was fine, they had a bed waiting for me and the nurses were attentive and caring.

The operation was terrifying! I sat on a couch while the anaesthetist inserted the catheter. He rammed the needle into the vein and had no closure ready, so blood went spurting all over the room while he tried to stop it with his fingers! It took about 9 injections for the epidural.

On coming out the nurses were wonderful and friendly and encouraging. I felt the medical assistants I met were not competent. I was being seated and although not meant to twist they pulled around on my hips!

On another occasion the huge oversights of the medical assistant caused me to slip in the shower and injure my ‘good’ leg on the day the physios were due to test and sign me out.

Overall the doctors and nurses were wonderful, but these pockets of incompetence were inexcusable.


Mixed experiences giving birth at Arrowe Park

I stayed at Arrowe Park for 3 nights during my induction for the birth of my son in the summer of 2008.

The induction ward was very quiet and clean. The midwives on that ward were very kind and efficient. I was not checked upon as frequently as I should have been but I felt safe as I could always call a midwife if needed.

After my 2 nights stay and 3 pessaries, on that ward I was taken down to labour ward and the induction was started. The care I recieved there was outstanding. I was uncomfortable in the first labour suite as there were no curtains, the sun was streaming in and the windows couldn’t be opened so my first midwife moved us to another much more comfortable room.

I was petrified about the whole induction process and must have been a nightmare patient but the two midwives that dealt with me were extraordinary. My first midwives’ shift ended a couple of hours into my labour and I got the choice of which midwife I wanted as I knew a few of them on shift from my antenatal care. My second midwife was fabulous and didn’t leave my side until well after my son had been born safely.

I requested an epidural and the anaesthetist was clearly very talented and I received my epidural very swiftly. The third stage of my labour was managed so well that I didn’t even realise it had occured! I was stitched up, cleaned up and had some visitors whilst still on labour ward then I was moved upstairs to the postnatal ward.

Unfortunately the postnatal ward care I received was appalling. My son had low blood sugar so was taken away each hour for heel pricks. This process was not explained and he was often taken without my consent. I wanted to breastfeed and was not helped to until I had been on the ward for over 6 hours. I was made to try and walk despite telling them that I still could not feel my legs and subsequently fell. When asked for help to go to the loo I was told that since I had had a normal delivery I had to get on with it since there were women on the ward that had had a much harder time than I had!

I requested to leave the next day but had to wait over 5 hours to be discharged as they were busy. I would say they must have been understaffed, but I saw midwives/carers stood around chatting at the front desk. A lady came into the ward to ask if anyone wanted their baby checked over – like it was optional! I was not checked over at all once my baby was born.

I was hounded by people trying to sell various things like photo-shoots at my bedside. The food was so bad and I left the hospital starving. It was very surprising to experience such different standards of care.

Mrs E

Thank You to the staff at the Hallamshire

I was admitted to the Royal Hallamshire in November for a Hysterectomy. I would like to give a huge Thank You to Mr Baxter for being willing to help me. Although I would have liked to avoid the final outcome, Mr Baxter was lovely in how he dealt with me.

I would also like to thank the Nursing staff in recovery who tried so hard to manage the pain I was in. Although it took a very long time, and several very strong pain killers, with an Epidural they finally got the pain under control.You were so nice and helpful, it made a very painful time slightly easier to bare.

Finally a Thank You to all the Nursing staff on G2. Even though they were busy, nothing seemed too much trouble. Thank You to everyone who looked after me during my 4 day stay, and in the nicest possible way, I hope to never see you again.


Having a baby at Rotherham

We recently had our little boy at Rotherham General Hospital. The hospital staff were all excellent.

In the delivery suite we had a (student) midwife co-ordinating our care who listened to us and was very attentive all the way through. In the end we needed a forceps delivery which was carried out swiftly by the theatre team.

On the labour ward buzzers were always answered within 1 minute and by someone who could help (rather than pass the task to someone else). Staff were as supportive at 3am as they were at 3pm in the afternoon. Staff made every effort to support us with breast feeding (although baby was unable to every once we returned home).

Unfortunately there was very heavy snow the day we went into labour. This meant that the labour ward was short staffed, and another lady needed emergency care before us. For those reasons we had to wait several hours for our treatment choice of an epidural after the pain became uncontrolled. However this just highlights how important it is for the hospital to be well staffed and what an important job they do.

With everything happening so fast on the day there wasn’t opportunity to thank everyone properly. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the Nursing and Midwifery team that looked after us during our labour and after care on the ward.