"Amazing bar one totally outrageous experience"

About: Colchester General Hospital

We had one significantly bad experience at Colchester Hospital. However, the final experience owing to the majority of the midwives, allowed us to have a very positive experience. This is our first baby, so everything was a new experience and we went to the hospital once my waters broke. We were told to return when the contractions were 5 minutes apart - and this lead us to return to the hospital late evening. We were greeted by a very moody midwife who told us we were 'lucky to get a room' Given that we were patients, and the room was vacant, I'm not sure how this constituted luck. Everything from this point seemed a battle, and we felt questioned about why we had come into hospital. The midwife in question gave me an examination, and it was singularly the most traumatic experience possible (especially by comparison to the other midwifes, which we were treated by later). The woman asked me to part my legs, and forced her fingers in. It actually felt as though she was trying to put her hand inside, stating that my cervix was 'far back' and our baby was lying posterior (which she attributed to my lifestyle based on no evidence - we argued that I walked two hours a day with our dogs, had been crawling on all fours to try and get her to turn, etc). My husband and I were an absolute wreck by the end of it. The howling and the tears. She then told me that this pain would be nothing compared to child birth so I had better go home and get rest, because if I was to be induced then that pain of contractions would be relentless. I felt humiliated, abused, and distraught. Until then I had been doing yoga, and felt extremely positive about the birth and the pain. We went back the next day as instructed (i.e., 24 hours after my water broke). The midwife was amazing! At first I said that I categorically did not want an examination. After being spoken to with dignity, and with a scientific explanation as to what would happen and why, i relented. The midwife washed the area with warm water, talked me through it and asked me to tell her to stop if anything was hurting. A totally different experience. And it didn't hurt; uncomfortable yes, but no where near the agony of the night before. And not a cold examination, but a considerate one. Everything from this point was unbelievable - the team were coordinated, worked as a unit, communicated, and we felt that our best interests were at heart. When that midwife left, we asked that we not be treated by the previous one. This was also honoured, and all the midwifes we since then explained our situation to were unimpressed by the physical treatment and hostility we were subject to. A few days later, and our baby arrived. Hoorah. The original lovely midwife even came to see us later because we delivered our baby after her shift. What a great gesture and follow-on care. So, if you experience anything like this say something because all bar one of the midwives were super!

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

Many thanks for your comments and taking the time to submit them. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We have a quarterly At Our Best Awards scheme which recognises staff achievements and thanks them for what they do. It has a team category, an individual and a volunteer category. You could enter the team/the person you were kind enough to write in about, by clicking here! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/At_Our_Best_Awards NEXT DEADLINE IS MONDAY 5 MAY! The Care Quality Commission (CQC) want to know what people think about our services - good or bad. http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/get-involved/share-your-experience Could you also email the Colchester Gazette and ask them to publish a letter? Email is: gazette.letters@nqe.com Lastly, we ask people like you who support our hospital to show that support by becoming a member. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/1c0LPjY You’ll get our Mainstream magazine four times a year for free! And don’t forget, you could follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on our Facebook Pages. Many thanks

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