"Post Natal Care at West Mids."

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

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I have had both of my children at West Mids. My youngest was born on 9.10.13. I feel compelled to leave feedback about the care I received in the post natal ward in October this year (however I must stress that ante-natal and delivery ward care, as well as SCBU provided fantastic care for me and my daughter, this feedback relates to post natal care only ). My daughter was delivered by c section at 11.10am on the 9th October due to placenta praevia. I arrived at the post natal ward at approx 1pm. Throughout the night when I felt I needed pain relief I pressed the buzzer but had to wait 5 minutes before a midwife arrived to see what I needed, and then a further 10 mins from the time she turned off my buzzer and arrived back with the tablets. I was surprised that there were no notes left for the night staff about the time that next pain relief was due for c section patients the day of their operation and that I had to request my own. However my main complaint is that at 5am I had some bloods taken to assess whether I was ok to be discharged ( I had finally nodded off with my baby in my arms but was woken up to have the blood taken). I had not put my feet on the ground after my operation when I was told the reason for the bloods being taken was because I was being discharged that morning. I expressed surprise and decided I would discuss with the day team when they arrived as I didn't feel ready or confident to attempt the walk to the lift to get downstairs and out of the building. Morning arrived, the catering lady arrived to say that breakfast was available in the kitchen. My husband had not yet arrived to visit, I explained that I couldn't walk. I was told to press the buzzer to ask for help. I did so, and a midwife said she would be back with a tray which didn't happen. After hobbling to the toilet for the first time At about 8am I felt incredibly dizzy, I was in excruciating pain and certainly didn't feel able to bend my body to get myself dressed or in and out of bed, or pick up my baby. Sister came to ask if I wanted to be discharged and told me they felt I was ready. I told her I didn't feel ready and thought I should stay another day but would pay for a private room if necessary if they needed my bed. I was told that i wouldn't receive any midwife support even if I did pay for a side room and that as my husband was at home I would be fine. The discharge conveyor belt continued, by 11.45am we were basically asked to leave. 24 hrs and 35 mins after delivery. When my baby was 4 days old we were re admitted via A&E as she had a serious infection and had lost 13% of her body weight. I strongly believe that had we stayed another 24 hrs in post natal her poor feeding or rising body temp would have shown the infection developing and got her treatment more quickly. I advise all of my friends not to deliver at west Mids purely due to the lack of post natal care.

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Response from West Middlesex University Hospital

Dear Mrs Francis, I am pleased to hear that you had some very positive experiences at our maternity unit but I am concerned to hear about the areas where we could improve upon. Without being able to go into any specifics about your individual case, our policy is to always discuss and agree a discharge plan with our mothers and where possible their partners. Once discharged, we provide additional support via our community midwifery team which includes regular home visits in the first few days to ensure both mother and baby are well. I will share your comments with my team and these will be used as a learning opportunity. I would encourage you to get in touch directly so that we can investigate your issues in detail and respond to you. Please either email pals.service@wmuh.nhs.uk or call 020 8321 6261. Since 1 October we have introduced the Friends and Family Test to our maternity service. All mothers should now be given an opportunity to give us feedback on their experiences in maternity before they leave, which gives us timely information on what we are doing well and any areas where there is room for improvement. Tonie Neville, Acting Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery.

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