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Delivery Ward from Hell


cazza1968
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I had my second baby by c-section at the Leeds general Infirmary last November. As per my first pregnancy my obstetrician was fantastic and helped me through 2 difficult pregnancies.

 

The ward though was sheer hell.

 

I was told to arrive for 8.15am, this i did (in fact i arrived at 8am). A senior midwife shouted at me saying that theater was waiting for me cos I was late and she would not believe me when i told her I was instructed to arrive at 8.15 after handover.

 

After a horrible delivery (long story) i was taken back to the ward -and put in a 6 bed bay. within hours it was full. I was very poorly and could not pick up my baby and once she was handed to me I could not put her back.

I heard one midwife say to the other "how are we supposed to deal with her? If she can't tend to her baby then its tough cos we can't". It seems that they only had 2 midwives for 25 ante and post natal women.

 

I was moved into a side room cos I was so poorly and effectively left then for 3 days. My sheets were not changed, and when they removed my wound drain the nurse just left it on the floor with blood all over the place and there it remianed for 2 days until my husband picked it up and took it out to them.

 

I was discharged early cos they needed the bed (an electric one which they put me in cos i could not move but then said i had to give it up) but ended up back in with a wound infection and a severely jaundiced baby within 24 hours. They could not even find any dressings for my wound instead covering it with a sanitary towel for heaven's sake.:o

 

Sorry for the rant but if anyone is having a baby at the LGI......well, just don't. One or 2 midwives were great but the majority were unsympathetic and frankly awful.:-x

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I am a nurse and there is NO excuse for your shoddy treatment. If it was me I would contact the Patients Advice and Liason officer , put your concerns in writing and sent a copy of the letter to your MP. I hope that you have recovered now and are enjoying your new baby:)

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I have been thinking about doing that but i was so upset for weeks afterwards I just could not face it. I have spent a lot of time in hospital since the birth od my first child 7 years ago but this was actually traumatic.

 

My new baby was actually treated in the paediatric heart ward (she was squatting they said) for her jaundice and the difference in the standard of care was enormous. Then when we moved to a fully paed ward they werw great too. They even dressed my wound and were alarmed that I had been left. They took swabs of my wound and really looked after me.

 

What is happening to maternity services these days?

 

Thanks for your comments though, its nice to see that there are nursing professionals who do care:)

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Firstly cazza let me say how sorry I am to hear of your awful treatment, hope you and the little one are doing good now.

 

Sadly, you are not the first and you certainly will not be the last mum to be to endure this.

But this is indicative of the state of decline our NHS is in and it seems the speciality of maternity services is suffering the worst.

 

I agree with catscradle your treatment was shoddy to say the least and I am pretty certain that your nursing staff braeched several clauses in the NMC Code of Professional conduct.

 

Maternity services have gone down the pan, plain and simple.NHS bureaucrats seem to push more and more mums into home delivery simply because they do not have the resources to care for them as in-patients. And the fact that maternity wards are dangerously understaffed and the midwives are grossly underpaid doesn't help as it means our midwives are more stressed and prone to outbursts such as you experienced. But that is no excuse for your treatment.

 

I am actually a trained midwife (male midwife to be exact) though I have long since left the profession. When I graduated in the early 90's in N.Ireland there over a dozen maternity units to serve a population of just over 1million people, now there are 6.

Midwives spend at least 5 years training to hopefully get a job that pays half as much as a train driver.

The workload of a midwife is twice as much as a general nurse having to care for the mum and the new born.

It is for reasons such as this that I left and 75% of my graduating class left the profession.

Sadly the state of materenity services is now a great advertisement for contraception - don't get pregnant or you'll end up in a ward like that!!

 

But sorry I got on my own little rant there.

simple fact is the NHS needs rescued and restored to the once great establishment it was.

I feel writing to your MP will be a waste of time as they are worthless (their salary and bonuses could easily pay for 6 nurses!) and the PALS service are not much help either.

 

But you should never been made to suffer because of all of this.

 

On a lighter note, I fondly remember my first ward sister, a fiercesome German woman who made all the patients get up at 7am and had them all making their beds, even the post C-sections, she was scary.

She often wondered why there wre so few births during her shift -simple the babies were too scared to come out!!

 

Keep well.

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It is becoming clear that these days you are lucky to get good maternity care. I ended up changing hospital in the middle of my pregnancy as I no longer trusted the first hospital to take proper care.

 

My mother died when I was about 18 weeks gone. A week later I got terrible stomach pains in the middle of the night. My husband called an ambulance, and I was taken to the A&E at Ormskirk hospital, where my antenatal clinic was.

 

They said my blood tests came back as abnormal, asked if I was consuming alcohol, to which I said I had one glass of wine a week earlier, but that was it. They patently didn't believe me, and told me never to drink while pregnant.

 

I was kept in for two nights, where they scanned the baby- who was fine but said they needed to scan my abdomen, but couldn't get a scan organised for seven days. I went to the scan, but never got any results.

 

Three weeks later I went back for my next scan, and I started having terrible stomach pains. They scanned me, baby fine, but said they hadn't any doctors in that day so I should go and see my gp. I went, he said I might have gallstones, sent me home with co-codamol and gaviscon.

 

|An hour later the pain escalated until I was screaming and vomiting with pain- I was rushed by ambulance to a different A&E, who diagnosed pancreatitis. I was in hospital for a week and so well looked after, with daily scans to check baby was fine- even if it was just to reassure me- and I was told if my condition hadn't been treated, we could both have died.

 

After their dismissal of my condition at the scan, I moved my antenatal care immediately, and the care we received at University Hospital Aintree, with the delivery at Liverpool Womens Hospital, was amazing.

 

My delivery was complex, with an emergency at the end, but between pots of tea, and reassurance in large amounts, I would recommend them to anyone.

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It is pretty terrifying to hear all the stories. I did not think i would be one of them.

 

I remember the midiwfe who dealt with me after my first c-section. She was fiercesome and looked just like Mavis from "On the Buses" - she was a cow.:lol: Still I had good care at the time.

 

The difference in 7 years though has been astounding.

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I'd hate to know how everything has changed in the last three years!

 

The problem is more midwives are retiring/leaving the service and they are not employing midwives at the same rate.

 

I just never believe a word a politician says anymore.

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  • 1 month later...

cazza, that is horrifying:o i was lucky enough to have my babies in prob the best mternity ward in the UK so when i hear how it is for others i'm totally shocked. i cannot imagine how you must of felt. I hope you have/are putting in an official complaint (every little detail too, even the nurses speaking about you), unfortunately i have no expertise in patients rights/breaches/code of conduct/hospital trusts etc, but it has got to be worth doing as they have to deal with it. i've know people who have just mentioned to dr's/hospital staff that they are thinking of putting in a formal complaint and thats when they start to take notice of what you are saying. please let us all know how you are getting on? i hope you are your little one are getting on fine:)

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i'm sorry to hear of your poor experience when you had your last baby in leeds. certainly l would like to think things are not as bad as that in our unit, not as big as leeds.

i am a midwife still trying to keep womens experiences as good as l can, but we are all getting pretty demoralized with the conditions we find ourselves working in, no excuse l know for your experience. a lot of really good dedicated midwives are walking with thier feet to work abroad or retire.

all l can do is my best, we currently cannot do ANY home births because 2 staff are dedicated to be at the homebirth and 1 for the duration of labour...and with 5,000 births p.a. we can't cover that kind of committment at all, so l dont agree the government are trying to encourage home births...certainly the goal is unattainable.

we have seen antenatal visits and post natal routine care drop to barely enough even for a healthy low risk mother!! a financial exercise l'm afraid..it sickens me.

they keep informing us that we're once again overspent, hard to believe when nothing works, and we have to constantly borrow things to be able to do our jobs.

our staffing levels are so low l've already had my 1 weeks holiday for the summer, and none during the school holidays.

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Guest louis wu

and it doesn't help when newly qualified midwives cannot find work anywhere in the country, let alone their local hospital:mad:

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The thing is, how is any first time mother supposed to know what should be happening in the hospitals compared to what actually is?

The same goes for the post natal visits. I had my first baby in January this year. I was visited about 4 times by a local midwife, she checked that my uterus was shrinking properly or something each time, I also had two visits from a health visitor.

 

I moved house when my baby was 3 months old, registered with the local clinic, and have heard nothing from anyone since. I had to arrange the immunisations myself and did not get any reminders or anything like that. Nor have I had any further checks since about 2 weeks after I gave birth, which was the last time I saw a health visitor.

 

How am I supposed to know if this is normal?

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Maternity services have gone down the pan, plain and simple.NHS bureaucrats seem to push more and more mums into home delivery simply because they do not have the resources to care for them as in-patients. And the fact that maternity wards are dangerously understaffed and the midwives are grossly underpaid doesn't help as it means our midwives are more stressed and prone to outbursts such as you experienced. But that is no excuse for your treatment.

 

 

My wife qualified as a midwife almost 20 years ago and is now a head of midwifery in a London hospital. She would disagree most strongly with your statement about the bureaucrats pushing for more home births. On the contrary they often have battles with mothers insisting on a home birth even when they know there are not enough midwifes available to provide such a service.

 

However the issues about shortages of midwifes nationally are very real and I doubt there are many hospitals which are enjoying full staffing within their maternity units. When my wife took over her post 4 years ago the vacancy rate was in the region of 30%! She has managed to get it down to 5%, but even with a small vacancy rate like that there are still issues. The chief executive is forever trying to cut more money off the maternity budget and there is constant pressure on the maternity unit to perform on ever tightening budgets.

 

Coming back to the OP's experience, my wife would be the first to say make a formal complaint. You could involve your MP now, but I would suggest starting the formal complaints procedure first and perhaps involve your MP if they don't take it seriously enough. It's not too late to make the complaint.

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Thanks everyone. I am going to make a formal complaint to the Chief Exec of the PCT and see what response we get. I have to have a hysterectomy in a few weeks and I am a bit scared what treament i will get if i am seen to be a boat rocker.

 

Fingers crossed:oops:

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If anything, they will know that if they don't treat you well, you will say something about it. If that isn't an incentive to give you proper care and attention, I don't know what is!

 

I hope that your operation goes well. I'd say good luck, but that doesn't seem appropriate!

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  • 4 weeks later...

im pregnant with my 5th baby at the moment and begged for a homebirth but because of medical problems i cant.when i had my last baby in huddersfield royal infirmary my mother basically delivered mybaby because the midwifes were too busy.) itwas then another 45 minutes in stirups before a nurse came to put my stitches in (after mum went to find her) then went into thebathroomto showerand there was another womans blood on the floor and around the toilet! not looking forward to this birth at all. i have the option of having this one at lgi because some of my specialist care is there but not sure about it now.

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Guest louis wu
when i had my last baby in huddersfield royal infirmary my mother basically delivered mybaby because the midwifes were too busy.)

 

What response did the hospital make regarding the lack of midwives? I hope your complaint made them look at their staffing levels, and ensured a review was made to stop this happening to other pregnant women.

 

louis

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I do sympathise. I don't think staffing levels have been good for a long time. I gave birth to my son 18 years ago. I was left with a student midwife to deliver me. Afterwards I lay on the bed for two hours on my own until a doctor came to stitch my tear. By that time the numbness had worn off and the stitches were very painful.

 

Two years later I had my daughter. I had to wait an hour after the birth for the stitches this time. I was told the afterbirth was 'ragged' but I was still sent home the next day. I didn't feel right from the beginning. 10 days later I was in agony and couldn't sit up in bed for the pain. The first doctor that came out said I had flu, which I didn't believe. My own GP came out later that day and sent me straight to hospital. Some of the afterbirth was still inside me and I had to have a D & C to have it removed. I was put on two lots of antibiotics and iron tablets. If it had been left much longer I could have died. There was no-one to look after my new baby while I came round from the anaesthetic as they were too short staffed. I had a sterilisation after that as I couldn't face having another birth.

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Guest louis wu
im pregnant with my 5th baby at the moment and begged for a homebirth but because of medical problems i cant.when i had my last baby in huddersfield royal infirmary my mother basically delivered mybaby because the midwifes were too busy.) itwas then another 45 minutes in stirups before a nurse came to put my stitches in (after mum went to find her) then went into thebathroomto showerand there was another womans blood on the floor and around the toilet! not looking forward to this birth at all. i have the option of having this one at lgi because some of my specialist care is there but not sure about it now.

 

 

I am still very curious if you complained, and what the response was.

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i complained but not untill i was begging to have a home birth with this one. my consultant justsaid that it should never have happened and they would look after me this time .

at the time i was just so emotional and just wanted to go home and forget about it.

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Guest louis wu

at least it is on record, and if your consultant is involved you should hopefully be able to expect a more comfortable (and enjoyable) experience.

 

Good luck, hope it all goes well

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Have been reading through these posts with great interest. The birth of a child is something to be truly welcomed, from the start of labour through to birth and aftercare, this all should be dealt with in an efficient, kind and caring manner. In other words the whole thing should be a memorable experience from beginning to end for the good things NOT the bad things that seem to be the norm these day. One has to ask why? Is it in the hope that by treating mothers in a nasty uncaring way, that they will think twice about having another baby. I'm a male, if I go into hospital to have an operation, I'm having kittens cos I do not know what is going on, therefore I want to be reassured and cared for properly. When a woman is having a baby, this, for the majority is a big step, so they need more than DOUBLE TLC and Assurance. Nursing was once a caring profession, you became a nurse because you cared.

In my case 14 years ago I delivered my daughter at home, the reason for this was because my wife went into labour quicker than predicted and we were told to await the arrival of the specialist unit. An ambulance arrived but as the baby had already been delivered and they were not allowed to help any further they waited outside the house, then because my sister-in-law was flapping, another ambulance arrived and they to went on standby. The specialist unit finally arrived 45 minutes after leaving the hospital which was only a 15 minute drive away, they had gone to the wrong address. Midwife complained that as all the work had been done, she would not be receiving her bonus! Doctor told me to make them all tea, there were 14 people in the front room! After they had had their tea and done what had to be done to my wife, they then asked my wife to walk to the ambulance, she could not and I would not let her. So they stuck her in a chair and wheeled her to the ambulance and told me to find my own way to hospital! When I arrived at the hospital, I had to play hunt the slipper for my wife. I found that my wife had been put in a bath, the bathroom was internal and had no windows or ventilation, it was hot and humid and my wife was alone and virtually unconscious. Having hit the alarm, I pulled out the plug on the bath and struggled to get my wife out, a nurse came running in, looked at me and then said I would have to carry on on my own as they were too busy to help. Finally got my wife aroused, dressed etc and then tucked up in bed, the maternity unit (bed-wise) was empty, this I thought was strange compaired to the birth of my son a few years previous when it was full. Went into work, could not settle so went back to the hospital at 11am to check up on my wife. Upon arrival at the maternity unit I asked to see my wife only to be told that she was not there, when asked to check, they said that according to their computer she did not exist. When I turned around, there she was in the first unit and she looked awful. When I pointed out my wife to the nurse, I was told that as she was being discharged that afternoon they had not bothered to put her down on the computer, I then asked why all the beds were empty, I was then told that the policy now was to give birth and be discharged all on the same day,now bear in mind this was 14 years ago and I felt that this was the wrong thing to do then and still do now. I said to the nurse that I did not think that my wife should be discharged as she looked awful. Asked if I was qualified to make such an opinion, I said no. I was then told that as my wife was an 'Older Mother' this was the norm. Luckily for my wife and I, a friend, who was a senior nurse at that hospital, had heard that my wife had had the baby and came up to see her. Upon his arrival, he took one look at my wife, and all hell broke lose. I was told later that had she been discharged, she would not have lasted more than a day. As it was she had to stay in hospital for three weeks, and to be honest, I don't think she ever has really gotten over it.

 

Squarebob

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