"Induction day"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

Anything else?

Daughter in law was booked for an induction on 12th August as she was 12 days overdue. She rang up in the morning and they told her it was ok for her to come in only to find that she ended up in a normal ward all day not the labour ward as there were no spaces. Induction never happened that day and my son had to leave his crying wife overnight because if she left she might lose her slot for her waters to be broken. 7 o'clock the following morning her waters were broken but due to fetal distress the baby excreted his first pooh which can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Baby is being monitored and none of us know if the baby will be ok as she is still in labour. My son said he felt the staff treated him as if he was some sort of wife beater and should not have been there and now due to their delay baby may suffer. I am disgusted at the way they have been treated so far

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Mr Watts, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is working hard to improve women's services for all of our women and their families and I am sorry you and your family feel this way about your daughter in law's experience. We understand that childbirth can be an emotionally raw and extremely stressful time, both for women and their families. I have spoken to our Labour Ward Matron and she is very sorry you feel this way. The Matron provided some information which you may find helpful. The Matron said that it is routine for women to be admitted to an antenatal ward prior to induction and our highest priority is the safety of our women. It is for reasons of patient safety that we never proceed with induction unless Labour Ward has sufficient beds and staff availability and neither emergencies, nor a heavier than usual workload are anticipated. We are restricted by the space we have available for partners and so partners do have to follow the ward’s visiting hours especially when labour is not imminent. This is for the benefit of all patients especially ones who have been admitted for health reasons and need a restful environment. It is very common for babies to pass meconium in utero when they have passed their due date of delivery; this is not a result of a delay in induction. These babies are closely monitored and all midwives are trained to recognise and escalate concerns to the medical staff. I have advised the Director of Nursing and Chief Executive of what has happened and we would like to offer you the opportunity to come in and share your experience and concerns. You can do this by contacting the Patient Experience Team on 01279 82 70 84 on any weekday or if you have any further concerns or questions about Maternity Services which need immediate resolution you can call 01279 827 103.

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