"Friendly staff (although obviously ..."

About: Watford General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Friendly staff (although obviously demoralised)

What could be improved

The antenatal service seems utterly inefficient and disorganised. Reliance on patients to book their own screening tests/anti d/consultant appointments surely must lead to poor take up of antenatal services. Once appointment has been made - an official letter is sent out - why not just have appointment sent out auomatically? Letter also could include additional info to make visit smoother (for example it told you to take urine sample to antenatal clinic - but when you get there they send you somewhere else with it!). At Hinchingbrook hospital - one department the Fetal Day Assessment Unit covered more or less everything except for delivery - they had 1 service desk in a ward run by small team of midwives who did practically all services from fetal monitoring, scanning, anti d, routine ante-natal, screening tests - an efficient use of staff. At Watford, have multiple service desks with bored underemployed midwives whose duty appears to be to redirect you to other areas- you get sent from pillar to post for even basic routine treatment - for example, midwife at FDAU desk sent me to different place to get blood sample taken, then to other area to get urine tested, and after getting anti d injection, up to triage area in delivery suite to get fetal monitoring - I saw more than 6 midwives (with delays as had to explain what was needed etc) when 1 midwife at Hinchingbrook in the FDAU would have done everything. Later I was told to book a scan and a consultant appointment to coincide - these couldn't be booked together so I had to book a scan and hope the main desk could find a consultant appointment to match! Can't understand why west herts insist on using thier own format maternity notes rather than the standard personal maternity records used by most health authorities. Finally I had the misfortune to have to transfer to west herts area 1/2 way through pregnancy - luckily it was my 2nd pregnancy and I knew what should occur, otherwise I would have missed things like my anti d jabs. My proffered notes from Hinchingbrook were deemed adequate and were ignored - my consultant appointment was a waste of both his and my time as it transpired that nobody had bothered requesting my previous caesarean notes from Hinchingbrook.

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