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"The Jessops Wing, Hallamshire Hospital"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

During my wife's recent pregnancy we attended the Jessops Hospital on 4 occassions for ultrasound scans/ outpatient appointments. Each time we were at the hospital for about 3 hours even though our total contact time with the professionals was no more than 30 minutes. For the other 2 1/2 hours we had to just wait around, moving from one waiting room to another! In the main waiting room there were always a number of nursing/ health care assistants but they didn't seem to be doing much. At one point it took 2 healthcare assistants to weigh my wife - 1 to read out the figure on the scales, 1 to write it down in the notes!

They asked us a lot of questions that we had already answered with the community midwife and that she had recorded in our handheld notes - so what was the point of going through it all again?

At the 2nd appointment we were told that my wife had placenta previa - the umbilical cord was covering her cervix - the midwife did not explain to us very well what that meant, and just gave us an advice sheet that had 'draft' written across it. We had to go on the internet when we got home to fully understand the details of the condition. It also turned out that the advice sheet did not include a key piece of information about what my wife could no longer do due to this condition.

The length of time we spent waiting in the outpatient clinic just seemed ridiculous. Perhaps if they'd told us before hand how long we were likely to be that would have helped, or explained that the clinic was running behind.

We were able to discuss it later with our community midwife who was very helpful and gave us some more information. There is definetely a big difference in the way community staff talk/ deal with you compared to the hospital based staff. A lot of the hospital staff made us feel that we were inconveniencing them when we asked questions.

After the 3rd appointment the hospital took blood samples for tests it was just before Christmas and becasue the lab was closed for 3/4 days by the time they re-opened the blood was unusable. They issued a recall notice but we were never told and it was only when we attended for the 4th appointment 2 months later that we found out.

My moan is really about the outpatients element as when my wife went into labour the midwives were excellent. They made us feel very comfortable and relaxed, the rooms had comfy chairs, sofas, soft lighting, etc. The facilties are very good in the labour ward and we had a very positive birth experience.

What would make it better? Not giving out advice sheets with 'draft' written on. Not having to spend most of the time waiting without any clear reason of what were waiting for! Better communication between the community and hospital teams.

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