"Staff trying really hard under major changes"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

We are in the 5th month of pregnancy and have experienced chaos and disorganisation at every step throughout this time since we registered with our GP. Every midwife appointment, scan appointment has had times changed, locations changed and many of the telephone numbers printed on the maternity record and antenatal documentations are either out of date, or simply ring without any success or messages. Staff themselves are playing catchup with information and procedures that seems to be regularly changing, often without much thought. With this in mind, I'd like to praise the various NHS staff we've encountered along the way who are trying their very best under such change and disruption. For example, today our receptionist at the 2-week old Maternity Ultrasound unit in the Cambridge Building, tried her very best to get us a re-scan appointment and it was clear she, and her colleagues, are under huge pressure with the new IT systems not working properly and patients being given incorrect information. She managed to keep her cool and even smile, and even though as a patient it continues to be a very frustrating experience - it is nice and encouraging to see staff keeping their wits about them. We'd like to suggest that the senior management prepare a leaflet to be distributed to patients, both newly registered as pregnant, as well as those going through maternity, to advise about the many changes that are going on. It is very important to let patients know to expect changes, and that there may disruption, so that expectations are set. This will go far to help reduce frustration with patients unable to get through to telephone numbers, or have bookings changed.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust welcomes your feedback. We are, however, sorry to hear that your experience of care at such an important time has been chaotic and disorganised and we do apologise. There have been some changes in the antenatal bookings and this has unfortunately impacted on the service we aim to provide. Thank you for your important suggestion with regard to communication which is crucial and also for your kind appreciation for our staff. Your comments have been passed to senior managers. We hope the pregnancy is going well and extend our good wishes to you.

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