"Let down by the night ward staff"
About: Queen Charlotte's Hospital Queen Charlotte's Hospital London W12 0HS
Posted by Ben Pritchard
First up, I should say that I felt that most of the teams involved with my partner's care during the birth of our daughter was excellent. The birth centre staff were quick to get us up to the delivery suite (complications meant that our birth plan was immediately out) and get us settled, and then the delivery suite team provided great care throughout a long, difficult attempt at induced labour, followed eventually by a caeserean section - although occasionally some of the information we got from various people seemed to be at cross purposes. The epidural team deserve a special note, as their excellent bedside manner and professionalism made light and quick work of the process. However, our entire experience was soured by the night team on the Edith Dare ward, who basically kicked my partner out after less than twenty four hours after her arrival from the high dependency unit following the c-section! We had been led to believe that she would be on the ward for up to three days, and told explicitly not to bring a car seat until the day of departure. This abrupt change of plan meant I had to return home to collect said car seat and attempt to re-schedule lifts. While this was happening, my poor partner was told to pack her things and wait in the waiting area. No help was forthcoming, and so she was forced to pack up and tend to our new baby singlehandedly - and this is was within 36 hours of her c-section! Needless to say, by the time I returned,, she was in considerable pain and distress, and the early discharge with no real instruction as to how to cope (eg: how to administer self-injected medication) certainly made things very difficult for the first few days at home. I appreciate that beds may be needed at short notice, but to effectively say "right, pack up and get out" to someone who has very recently had a major surgical process is completely unacceptable. The fact that my partner had a newborn baby to look after at this time, and did not receive support in getting ready for this rushed discharge only worsens matters. It's a real shame that my partner's treatment ended up on such a bad note. I would still recommend Queen Charlottes' to any parents-to-be, but I would be certain to warn them that they may need to be ready to act at a moment's notice once the baby has been delivered. Thus I cannot give a higher rating than I have, despite the excellence of the vast majority of the people we dealt with.