"i used the hospital in november ..."

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

i used the hospital in november 2005 for the birth of my first baby (only found out i could comment on the experience on this site now!) the birthing pool room was relaxing, and i was able to have some home comforts like cds and my hot water bottle.

pain relief was given when i requested it but i felt that i could have had more help using gas and air.

i felt that some of the midwives were very friendly and made it a positive experience more so the day shift than the night who were with me when i got there. also, that the doctor who did my stitches afterward did a great job - i felt no pain and they healed great.

the staff who took me for a bath and the midwife who helped me bath my baby for the first time were wonderful.

the food was quite good, and in the day i had no trouble finding staff.

What could be improved

i felt during labour i was left for long periods unattended. i had to get out of the birthing pool as i felt faint and because we couldnt find anyone to help, my partner got me out. the midwife was very abusive about this when she eventually returned.

hygiene of toilets was poor, dry blood on the floors. the bathroom i used the next morning had fresh blood on the floor, and wasnt very clean.

staff didnt gel their hands when switching between women, and my midwife came in with blood on her fingernails.

she did not wear gloves, even when the baby came out, and she was very stern and made me feel uncomfortable and stressed.

the next morning, the birthing pool had not been emptied and there were still bloody sheets in the room from the night before.

on the ward with my baby afterward, i also saw a cleaner cleaning the floor with washing up liquid.

hygiene needs improving, both staff and the wards and loos.

staff ratios need uping to 1:1 like other hospitals.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Trust HQ

We are encouraged that, whilst there were some concerns relating to care and cleanliness, overall this lady's experience was positive.

We would, however, like to offer our profound apology for some of her less positive experiences in our Maternity department. We believe this was an exceptional episode rather than a true reflection of normal standards of care and cleanliness on the wards.

The building that our maternity services are currently provided in is old and does tend to look ‘shabby’ even when clean. Fortunately we are moving into a new purpose-built maternity hospital in twelve months time, which will provide the most modern facilities and environment.

To ensure good standards of cleanliness we have monthly cleanliness audits, regular infection control audits and bi-monthly hand hygiene audits undertaken by the Matron. Maternity normally scores highly on all audits.

Cleaning services are currently under review and Ward Managers are very responsive to problems which may be encountered in their ward areas.

We endeavour to maintain high standards of cleanliness within our departments and again apologise for any distress this lady experienced.

We welcome feedback from all patients and users of our services as it enables us to make improvements, so we would encourage anyone who has any concerns about their care in the hospital to talk to the ward manager or matron, either while they are a patient or once they have gone home.

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