"Labour ward fab, after care not so great"

About: Leicester General Hospital

I had my baby at the LGH last year, it was a very rushed and quick labour. The midwives at the pre-assessment and labour ward were absolutely fantastic, they were calm and caring despite the fact the labour all happenend in a bit of a rush. The maternity ward was very busy and I did not see many midwives, it was my first baby and I was not sure what to do - did I leave him to go to the loo/shower, etc. I only saw people to be offered pain relief, the 'breast feeding' helpers did not really help and seemed very quick to offer formula as an option. The shower that I used was dirty and full of old toiletrie cases, also there was nothing to 'wipe up' after a shower, which made it difficult not to leave the shower in more of a mess. I had a room to myself which was lovely but I think it is awful that partners/husbands can not stay, I think this is very sexist in this day and age. I understand that some people may not want the childs father there, but to have the option if we do want them there would be really good. Looking after a newborn baby when you have just been through a traumatic labour is very hard on you own - please let the other parent stay too!! I asked to be discharged at 2.00pm the next day (the staff seemed quite suprised by this - but I could give myself paracetomel at home, and I felt this was all they were doing for me.) We asked many times throughout the day about how long we would be waiting - and were told by many different members of staff 'we'll be with you in a few minutes'. I understand the ward is busy, but why say this when you know it is going to be hours! By 11pm at night we were all throroughly fed up, but still had to watch two DVD's on how to care for our baby and about not shaking your baby. The first DVD player did not work .... I think the DVD's are a waste of time - after 48 hours of no sleep I did not pay attention to either of them, as I just wanted to get out! Please do not make promises you can't keep, about when you will be discharged, and get some more staff if the wards are so busy!

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Response from Leicester General Hospital

Dear reviewer, Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. We’re pleased to hear that you were well cared for during your labour but sorry that you found our aftercare wasn’t as good. We have made a number of changes to our maternity units since your visit in March 2013 to ensure we provide a high level of care during and after the birthing process. In the last year we have recruited both midwives and midwife care assistants (MCA) across the Unit to help with baby care and breastfeeding. Our patients are now allocated to a named midwife at the start of the shift to ensure they know who to speak to if they need any assistance. We have devised a laminated sheet that is at each bedside to explain to mothers the ward routine, to leave the baby in the nursery if she is showering, times of meal times etc. to help orientate women to the ward area. Recliner chairs have been purchased for the side rooms so partners can now stay overnight if they wish to. Since March 2013, Interserve, a support service and facilities management company, has taken over the cleaning contract for Leicester’s Hospitals. We closely monitor and audit all areas of the Unit with the support of infection control. The discharge process has been improved since we have more staff in the Unit. Some paperwork is commenced by the night staff during the night shift to help the process and the day staff to be more efficient. We no longer show the ‘shaken baby’ DVD and the discharge DVD can be shown at anytime rather than just before a patient goes home. There is a lot of useful information in the DVD that we would like parents to absorb when the time is best for them. We have purchased 10 new DVD players since Christmas to ensure our patients can view these educational DVDs at their convenience. We value all feedback as it helps us to improve our services for the future. Please feel free to contact me by email if you would like to discuss your concerns further. Kind regards, Joan Morrisey, Senior Midwife for Leicester’s Hospitals Joan.Morrisey@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

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