"Our first child"

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

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My wife delivered our 1st child a few weeks back at SPH and she has been in the care of ashford and SPH team since pregnant this year. Experience with the Ashford Topaz team: Overall the service provided by midwife team at Ashford hospital was adequate but could be improved. My wife was seen by no less than 6 midwife's during her pregnancy checkups and our experience every time has been different due to the care and concerns each of them showed to us. Inevitably we started feeling this as a luck of draw based on who saw her on the appointment. One important information we were not provided with was vaccination on whopping cough by the MW team, we only cam to know about this from the practice nurse at the GP when my wife had to take her flu jab. We were left confused as to why we were never offered this during the regular checkups. 4D scan at SPH: Our 1st private scan was unsuccessful as the machine broke and did not provide with the actual pictures to take away, we were told that we will be offered another session which we went for in a few weeks time. The sonographer struggled with the machine again and we had to spend almost 45 minutes for it to start working. We felt that the service could be improved and that the equipment needs to be in better condition for the money charged for a private scan. Labour Ward, John Booker Ward: My wife was induced at 40 + 4 days and she had a particularly difficult labour and delivery. I want to first recognize the good bits and individuals who made a great impression on us for the support and service. Midwives - both ladies, looked after my wife from start to finish of her labour, they were caring, attentive and we always felt comfortable in the way they progressed with my wife's labour. The nursery nurse in labour ward (gave my wife the confidence to be able to breastfeed) Not so great experiences: My wife was operated for a 3rd degree tearage post delivery. The operation took almost 2 hours and at one point my wife heard the doctors debating over how the procedure should be carried out between a consultant and the doctor! at the table to the point that my wife got scared and asked for me to be present by her side during the procedure. In the post natal ward/John Booker Ward my wife was kept for an additional day. Since she was mix feeding our LO she requested for a midwife to help her with the bottle feed preparation in the middle of the night to which she was simply asked to getup from the bed and shown direction to the breast feeding area where she had to make the feed. We felt let down that she was not given assistance and care when she was in severe pain with her stitches and recent difficult birthing experience. Overall, I would recommend SPH as I feel in general the hospital staff strives to give good care to its patients. I regret to say that the experience can be mixed on patient care and service as it depends on the MW, Doctor looking after you.

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Response from St Peter's Hospital

Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your first child and we hope you are settling into family life well at home. It sounds like you had quite a mixed experience of our maternity services and whilst we are pleased to hear that you were happy with some aspects of the care your wife received, we are naturally concerned to hear about the areas we could improve upon. We have shared everything you’ve said with the maternity management team, who will always use feedback from our women and their families to try and improve our services. Recently, due to a variety of reasons our staffing of the Ashford community midwifery service (run out of the Topaz Suite at Ashford Hospital) has been a little unsettled and we recognise that not all women have received the continuity of care throughout their pregnancy that they, or we, would like to see. We are working hard to get the right midwives in place to improve this situation, but apologise that your wife was not able to see the same midwife more often. With regards to your comments about the whooping cough vaccination, we have reminded our midwives that they should discuss this with women and explain that the vaccinations are available through their GP only, and to make an appointment with their surgery. We are also sorry to hear about the difficulties and delays you encountered with our 4D scanning service. When you had the scan it is likely the service was still relatively new and we did have a few teething problems with some of the equipment, but are pleased to say these have now been resolved. Thank you for your praise of our labour ward midwives and maternity assistants, which we have passed onto the team. We have also shared your comments about Joan Booker Ward with the Ward Manager, who is disappointed to hear the staff did not offer more help and support to your wife with making up the bottle in the night. Whilst we try to encourage women to do as much as possible themselves, in preparation for going home, we do understand it is harder for some women after a complicated birth. We have reminded staff how important it is to be vigilant, especially at night, and to offer a helping hand even when they are busy. We are pleased to hear that you would recommend us overall and thank you again for all of your feedback.

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