"We patients don't ask a lot"

About: Birmingham Women's Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I was already worried to have to face hospital staff, based on past experiences, and I wasn't wrong. Receptionists were snotty and superior making us feel intimidated. Toilets were dirty and smelly, it should be checked every few hours, the waiting room was dusty as if a tornado had just passed.

My appt was at 1pm and we left at 5pm. In every apt letter it should have a reminder for the patient to bring food from home as I wasn't expecting to be waiting for all this time. The hospital only has a kiosk full of junky and rubbish food as well for drinks, as a pregnant women it should have a variety of healthy food, to sell not even a banana I found at the kiosky! Apart from a drink machine where I could reach for a orange juice that saved my starvation partially! No communication from midwife and consultant over my care as I am outspoken and I know the NHS policy says I have right to choice. It was only that way that I could get what I expected and wanted.

The only staff who actually saved the day was the sonographer. Friendly, polite, smiling, really really caring, patient with me and my partner when we have our questions he clarified as if we were the only ones in the hospital, top staff!

I have heard many excuses from hospital staff for not providing a high standard of care.

We as patients don't need a lot, a good smile and a warm welcome from the receptionist is a good start. It doesn't cost a lot to any hospital staff to give a patient a smile, being friendly, patient and caring, after all if people are not happy with their work they should do something else instead of carry on and making patients even more ill!

I have learned how to get what I want because I am not afraid whether is from GPs, hospital staff, I have learned how to deal with these people. Don't be afraid people in asking, doctors are not God.

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Response from Maria McLeod, Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry that you had a bad experience at the hospital and would like to thank you for taking the time to make your comments. All the points raised will be fed back to the teams.

If you would like to discuss these issues further then you can speak to PALS on 0121 627 2747.

Also, the Director of Nursing and Midwifery has been informed and would be happy to speak to you, please contact Helen Young on 472 1377 x 4023. We normally have exceptionally high standards of cleanliness and communication from clinical staff is one of our highest priority areas so she is very concerned we did not achieve that on this occasion.

Once again, we are sorry that your experience was so negative and we will be looking into all the issues you have raised.

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