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

I had a horrible postnatal time at St George’s

I wanted to share my story as I’d read one that was very similar. My son was born at St George’s almost two years ago. I was never very happy with my ante-natal care, but it appeared to be about par. I was very overdue and was made to feel by the midwives that I was putting them to some inconvenience. I spoke to one consultant during that time (the only time during my entire pregnancy!) and he was really good.

I was in severe pain by the time I went into labour. I suspected that it was because of a UTI I contracted during the cervical sweep because the midwife didn’t use sterile gloves, but I don’t know that for sure. At any rate, the pain was bladder pain and pain during urination not labour pain. I had to beg to be admitted to the hospital and get some gas and air after my water broke again not for the contractions but for the bladder pain. I did eventually get some, but was left to labour in a room unattended a whole night because I hadn’t reached their threshhold of dilation.

I then had to move to an official (and not as nice) room. My labour was very slow progressing so even after I officially got there, I went through three full shifts of midwives. The first was ok, although she pressured me into having a drip to intensify my contractions (which I hadn’t wanted). The second was very nice. The last one was awful, spoke about me, not to me, cold, rude and neglectful. She couldn’t even be bothered to take my blood pressure but put it on the automatic cuff without telling me.

Eventually I had to have an emergency c-section.

The postnatal ward was awful. It was extremely hot, noisy, I hadn’t slept in three days at this point and was beyond exhaustion. It didn’t seem very clean. I was in a bay away from a window and was really suffering from the heat (this was during a particularly hot few days in June 2007). I was tired and in pain, uncomfortable and lonely after visiting hours.

When the postnatal midwife refused to give me another dose of painkillers (I understand why that was) she suggested I have a dose of morphine instead. I agreed. But then I thought, if I’m knocked out in this chaos, who’s going to look after my baby? And I had wanted to breast feed and was worried about the effects of the morphine. So I told her I had changed my mind.

She was very put out by that because apparently that would cause her all kinds of paperwork difficulty (!). So she brought the ward sister round who screamed at me for having the curtains closed after I told her it was hot and I reminded her that I couldn’t even get out of bed to close the curtains. The sister also used foul language at me and I was seriously scared that they were going to inject me with morphine against my will. Which fortunately they didn’t. But I was frightened and worried the whole night. And I was shocked that I’d been sworn at by a health care “professional”.

This troubled me for a long time and eventually I complained about it to the hospital. I recognise that some time had passed before I complained, but the hospital accepted my complaint and I received an acknowledgement. Since then I have heard nothing, although I followed up with a visit to the PALS office and a follow up email.

The reason I’m sharing this now, even though it happened two years ago, is I saw that St George’s offered another patient the opportunity to complain about her labour and postnatal experience (which was of similar poor quality to mine, but different things happened).

I would encourage the other patient to complain, but don’t hold your breath. They clearly don’t respond to complaints and they clearly haven’t tried to make any changes in two years since this other person’s story was on a level with mine but only happened a few weeks ago.


Geat choice for the birth of my baby!

I had a c-section on friday, 28th of august at QCCH. The entire experience was much much better than i imagined! Starting with the lovely doctors, anaesthetist and nurses – who, first of all, comforted me and assured me that everything is going to be fine, and then, during the surgery, constantly updated me whith what was happening behind the screen, asking me how i feel, and keeping me and my husband positive, fulfilling all our requests, and later in the postnatal ward the midwifes and all the staff were always there for us and helped me a lot to gain confidence in handling and feeding my baby.

Me and my baby were so well taken care of, that i never felt unsafe and any concerns or questions i had were solved and answered within minutes.

A big big thank you to everybody who was involved with our birth and care!


Amazing staff

I was admitted to maternity as a readmission after the birth of my son with serious bleeding. I was looked after incredibly well and all the staff from triage to surgery to critical care and later on c2 postnatal ward were fantastic.

I felt cared for and would recommend this dept to anyone.

I was also so well looked after during the birth of my son 10 days earlier and since via the gotodoc service. I called 111 and recieved a timed appointment within the hour.

I went to a&e with chest pains just after the birth of my son and everything was checked and tested with care.

I feel that all staff were passionate and caring and that the nhs gets a v bad review most of the time which is unfair. I am so grateful for my care.


Discouraged from breastfeeding by breastfeeding clinic!

I attended the breastfeeding drop in clinic at St Mary’s, Paddington when my daughter (now 11 months) was 6 weeks old, as I knew things weren’t quite right. I was told that her attachment to the breast was so poor that the only way we could continue to breastfeed was by expressing after every feed and giving her the expressed milk in a bottle, and that she was too old to improve her habits.

I decided to ignore this advice, as it seemed that as she was growing normally things couldn’t be as bad as all that, and I knew I couldn’t cope with the expressing. I’m glad I did as we have only just given up breastfeeding now, ten months later, and my daughter has continued to grow well, and is extremely healthy. I am still shocked that a clinic supposed to help support breastfeeding was so discouraging.


Unhappy with postnatal care in Cheltenham

After 22 hours of labour and my baby being delivered by forceps I was exhausted, tired and under shock as it was my first baby.

I had a spinal anasthetic and was unable to move my legs. After I was stiched up I was put into a room with my newborn baby where I was left for about 2 hours to bond, without a midwife checking on us as they were all busy doing paperwork. I was then put into a room with 3 other women and screaming babies. All I wanted was to rest which was impossible as i had to settle my baby, who was suffering from injuries to its head from the forceps.

As soon as my baby was asleep I thought I could have some rest but I wasn’t able to sleep with all the noise around me. The next morning I waited for somebody to help me to have a shower and have some breakfast and I was left waiting for about 3 hours. I complained to a midwife that I was hungry and exhausted and asked her if I could be moved to a less crowded room. After another hour of waiting a care assistant supported me to have a shower and get some breakfast but my request of being moved into another room was completly ignored.

When I was able to walk again I had a look around the ward and found that there were other rooms that were less crowed or even empty. My baby’s hair was covered in dried blood and I asked for it to be bathed. I was promised that somebody would show me how to bath it. This didn’t happen until an hour before I left the hospital 3 days later!

The support me and my baby received was very poor when I felt so vunerable. I had to stay 3 days at the hospital and I was unable to recover or rest. I am very disappointed with the standard of care and compassion of the midwives towards patients.

At the antenatal classes I was told that 20 years ago babies were taken away from the mothers for a few hours so that they could rest and the babies got washed and looked after. Why is this not happening anymore? It would have made things so much better for me if I could have just slept for a few hours after being in labour for such a long time.

The hospital experience has completely put me off having more children and left me traumatised.


Apprehensive to start with when there was no need-great care

I gave birth to my 2nd son at Heartlands hospital towards the end of May 2013. Previously, I have had really good and almost painless experience from the birth of my 1st boy who was born in my native country in a private hospital.

About the Heartlands POW women Unit, a few of my acquaintances had told me some not so good experience stories about heartlands maternity unit which had made me extremely apprehensive about what I might face when my time comes.

All my fears went out of the window as I received proper, timely and really good care. I was given epidural upon my request. The midwife, Diane, was a Godsend for me. She was extremely patient, understanding and so very considerate. She understood my need for epidural and arranged an anaesthetist from another ward/unit as the one in delivery suite was occupied with some emergency. I could not have asked for better postnatal care as well. The Aspen ward midwife, Jullie was very attentive and even sat down and talked to me when she saw that I was having a baby blues stress.

There was some delay in the visit of the baby doctors who checked my son after 32 hours of birth which made us really concerned as my boy was little mucusy and throwing up. We were later explained that the delay was caused due to shortage of doctors due to bank holiday.

Overall, I would say I received excellent, attentive and proper care at the Heartlands POW women’s unit.


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.


Excellent Maternity Care

I had my son here in March 2012.

I visited many departments at some point, was induced and had a forceps delivery. I also cannot fault any of the care I received or the staff as they were all fantastic.

I visited the antenatal day unit a number of times and all staff here were very professional and reassuring, taking time to explain things and answer questions. The midwife at maternity assessment went out of her way to put me at ease.

On antenatal ward all staff were very thorough and the standard of care was exceptional. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long to get on to delivery suite, but I was offered gas and air on antenatal ward. Delivery suite was calm throughout, the en-suite bathroom is a bonus.

The midwives that cared for me were amazing! I’m a very nervous person and the midwife answered all of my many many questions. The senior staff visited the room regularly, and we were never left alone during the whole time I was in labour. The midwives gave great advice too. The doctors, anaesthetists and theatre staff were also all brilliant.

Postnatal ward care was also good. The staff give advice and help without being too overwhelming. They were always available to come and give help when I needed it.

All in all I think St James is a fantastic hospital with wonderful, caring, professional and committed staff. I would have no reservations about choosing it for my maternity care again.


I would recommend Wansbeck Maternity dept

I gave birth to my first child, a baby girl, on in September 2011 at Wansbeck General Hospital.

I was initially due to give birth at north tyneside general, but went 2 weeks over my due date so had to be induced. I chose wansbeck and was quite nervous as i hadn’t looked around there and didnt know much about it.

As soon as I arrived I was put at ease by the student midwife on duty (Kerry) and the midwife looking after me (Vicky) – they were lovely and I had my own en suite room throughout the induction process which i hadn’t been expecting.

The midwife looking after me on day shift (Carole) was lovely too, she even spent time chatting with me to put me at ease as the first part of induction was moving slowly for me.

The team as a whole were excellent including the staff on the postnatal ward (ward 11) -they were very experienced and gave me a lot of their time and didnt miss a thing. They also showed genuine care and compassion for our wellbeing as mum and child.

I would recommend wansbeck maternity and will be booking myself in there for baby no. 2 – whenever that will be!