"What should be a happy time will be remembered as a stressful time"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Maternity

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter was admitted this weekend with low movements and signs of preeclampsia. A decision was taken to induce her. We went down to induction at 9.30am yesterday and she was given a hormone pessary which brought labour on. She was put into the care of a nurse that had to go to theatre as well as look after her. This meant we didn't see her until late afternoon. We understand she was checked once all day by a midwife who put her on a monitor for 5 hours because the baby's heart rate would not settle. However they didn't check her blood pressure once. My daughter was immobilised and very uncomfortable. A midwife came in and apologised said they were really busy and said sorry but they were waiting for a doctor.

A doctor checked on her at around 8pm because of the heart rate and said they would keep going with induction. Nothing happened and my daughter was still in pain still strapped to a monitor. At around 11pm, a male doctor came who was really helpful. He asked why the second pessary had not been put in and told us they would do this now. She was to have a drip put up to go through every four hours and they were to break her waters. At midnight she was still strapped to the machine, the drip had gone up and we sat and waited for the midwife to put the second pessary in. My daughter was distressed as she had been in a lot of pain. At this point, a midwife came in and asked us to leave. She said they would put the second pessary in and call us if there was any change. I was not happy leaving and my daughter was distressed about us going but the midwife was very clear even though I protested.

I have spent the night in my car in the hospital car park with my daughter distressed at the end of a phone. The midwives have still not given her the second pessary, the drip has been left to empty and not be replaced. My daughter has told me she has seen no one all night. I know she has been awake because she has been speaking to me. Why have they not done as the doctor asked? Why has she been left all night? There has been a delivery room available opposite her room all night as my daughter has seen it when she went to the loo.

It's now 5. 11 in the morning. My daughter is distressed and so am I. A midwife has just seen her and said we will give it another hour and then put the second pessary in. Why wait? I find this all distressing for all of us and I am disgusted that this has been allowed to happen to my daughter. Where is the duty of care to both my daughter and her baby? The night shift have failed in looking after her and caused her more distressed. Their excuse this morning when she questioned them was that they were giving her a rest but clearly all they have done is distress her further.

After my protest at being sent home last night, the midwife asked my daughter where we are this morning. She has told them we are in the car park worried and waiting to come back in. The midwife's response to that was we were being silly and should have gone home. When I left her last night, she was contracting every three mins and she was in pain. Concerns had been raised about the baby's heart beat and the doctor had set a plan to help her. Apparently they chose to ignore his plan as they had another of their own.

I am sure any mother would have done the same as me and not gone home. It's now 5. 21am. My daughter is still waiting and we are still sat in the car waiting to get back to her. What kind of hospital is this? It doesn't feel like the caring kind. I believe my daughter's duty of care has been compromised and she feels out of control of the whole situation. What should be a happy time will be remembered as a stressful time. I wonder how long they will make us wait before we can go back to her bedside?

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Response from Simon Jarvis, Head of Patient Engagement, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Simon Jarvis

Dear Smudge35

Thank you for taking the time to post this account of events and what undoubtedly would have been an incredibly stressful time for you and your daughter. The birth of any baby is a time to be treasured and I am sorry your experience and that of your daughter turned out to be so stressful.

I would welcome the opportunity to find out more details and see how we can learn from this to ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else. As such I have briefed my colleague Gillian Waterhouse who, as an ex-midwife herself, is working with me on capturing views and opinions of our maternity service users. Gillian's contact email is gillian.waterhouse@heartofengland.nhs.uk. If you feel able to, please can I encourage you to make contact with Gillian so we can take this forward for you and make sure lessons are taken from from your experience to improve services for those who will access these in the future. Please bear in mind that Gillian will need signed consent from your daughter to discuss specifics which she will advise you about when you make contact.

Kind regards


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