"Birthing hell"

About: Airedale General Hospital

Our bad experience started with the preliminary scans due to our baby suspected of being underweight. The staff were reluctant to let us book appointments whilst we were there and instead insisted on sending us a letter to tell us what our appointment would be. On one occassion, we had been to the hospital for a scan on a Friday and were told we'd have an appointment the following Tuesday. We then recieved a phone call on the Monday asking why we'd missed our appointment (no doubt this went on the 'missed appointments' statistics!) When we explained that we were waiting for a letter to confirm our appointment on the Tuesday, they appologised and said that they'd have to rearrange it. For our next appointment, we insisted on trying to book it whilst we were present in the hospital. They were reluctant at first, however, once we explained the issues we'd already had , then they said it would be ok. Once we had walked back to the Ultrasound unit (bearing in mind my partner was 8 months pregnant at the time) we were told that we wouldn't be able to book the appointment as first told we could. We then insisted that they at least gave us a day to work to (as I had to book the time off work). Upon giving us a day, they said that they'd send out a letter informing us of the appointment time and date. A few days later we then recieved 2 letters stating different dates and times for the same appointment. We ended up resolving this too, but the overall initial experience didn't really fill us with confidence. Then came the birth. My partner thought that heer waters had broken so we went to hospital around 2pm. We were monitored for an hour and inspected, however we were informed by a lovely midwife that the waters still looked in tact. She talked us through what might be happening etc. and was very informative and supportive, especially with this being our first child. Then came the shift change. The new midwife inspected us and confirmed that the waters were still in tact. She then said we may as well leave as the waters were not broken. We left, which was fine, and went home. At 4:30pm, following a lie down, my partner then suspected her waters had broken again. This time, there was a lot of evidence so we were fairly sure it had happened. We rushed back into the hospital, during which time contractions had started, to be greeted by the same midwife. We were put on a general observation ward, and told that she'd be back to inspect us. We were waiting for an hour, during which time, the contractions were worsening. The midwife eventually returned, inspected my partner, and told us that it was thrush and her waters hadn't yet broken! We found this appauling as my partner was now in the full throngs of labour and sat in a pubble of amniotic fluid When pressed onthe matter, she got an equally inept doctor to come and 'inspect'. The doctor basically shone a torch on the area, and didn't even put her head down to look.

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Response from Airedale General Hospital

We are extremely sorry that you and your partner have had such an unsatisfactory experience in respect of booking scanning appointments and leading up to the birth of your baby. We would very much like to discuss thiw with you to enable us to investigate further. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team on 01535 294019 to enable us to do so.

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