"Granddaughter born despite, not because, of care..."

About: Watford General Hospital

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 10.30 am (approx) On ringing in advance to say labour well under way, my daughter was given prevarication techniques and on second call 15 minutes later was told "you can come in but expect a long wait"......what was she supposed to do? How helpful is telling her that when her labour is well advanced and obviously so from the information she gave? Put the baby and her health at risk by waiting? With the exception of one midwife and one nurse on delivery suite who eventually provided my daughter with tea and toast (see below) there was an absence of any support, kindness or understanding. Wanted wheelchair - none at entrance. Went to triage to ask for one and help. A member of staff answered me with "Well, I'm not doing it" with their Health & Safety in mind. What about my daughters? Parking a nightmare and extortionate with addition of running around to find one of the few payment stations. Long wait in triage despite advanced labour in a wheelchair which provides maximum discomfort to those in labour. Daughter & husband not even asked if OK with male new student midwife. Anaesthetist (name unknown, didn't introduce himself) was inept, slow and messy and I didn't know whether to be more concerned about my daughter not having an epidural pain relief, or having the anaesthetist give it which requires a confident, sure approach and expertise which was not displayed. A second midwife appeared sullen and unhelpful when crowning happening and was at a loss. The midwife said "move or you will squash the baby". On being asked how or where, they "move your leg". The midwife left telling my daughter that they were wanted on a Ward! A consultant 'appeared' at the door later after birth, knew nothing about my daughter, the birth etc and did not even venture into the room talking from just inside the door. I asked politely at desk if a cup of tea possible for daughter an hour or so later. The member of staff snapped "I'm a nurse. I don't do that. Ask the midwife". It was not busy at that particular time otherwise I wouldn't have asked even though it should be essential that that mother receives the minimum i.e. a cup of tea and biscuit. Daughter advised could go home 'soon'. Contradicted later and told compulsory wait 6 hours and then further contradicted and told 'oh no, of course you will stay in overnight but will ensure that all paper done so that you can leave early'! My daughter eventually was able to leave at 1.30 pm. Why is there a 'drip feed' attitude to being made aware of how long it will take to 'release' anyone? If there is even a remote chance it may be 24hrs++++ say so!! I understand and appreciate difficulties with running a hospital and particular problems associated with deliveries but Watford was gaining a good reputation for caring for mothers-to-be (as when daughter previously delivered 2 years ago). Why is it so poor now?

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