"Great birthing unit experience"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

I would like to thank my midwife and student midwife who have completely changed my opinion on midwives. They were both friendly and caring and I felt safe in their care. I felt both went above and beyond what I expected of midwives and I feel they listened to my needs and were attentive throughout my labour. My labour started off perfectly in the birthing unit in a pool and was going very smoothly unfortunately towards the end I ran into some difficulty and had to have an epidural and then an emergency c section. My midwives stayed with me throughout and made sure I was being properly cared for. They were very good with my husband and were mindful of his back when he was supporting me in the pool. The student midwife even stayed with my husband after she had finished work and waited with him for me to come out of theatre. This was so lovely as I really wanted her to see my daughter Ella and thank her. The midwife visited me the next day in Samson ward and again I thought this was going above and beyond the call of duty. I feel both these midwives are very special and an asset to PAH. The theatre team and anaesthetist were also brilliant and I felt well looked after. I feel I can not thank the staff enough. The only problem I encountered were on Samson ward where I encountered one unfriendly midwife and there was a long delay in being discharged due to there only being one paediatrician working that day but with job cuts these days it wasn't surprising. All in all well done PAH. Please pass this message on to them as I would like them to know how grateful I am. Thank you.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Kirsty, Your beautifully detailed description of how the midwife and student midwife went beyond the call of duty, the high quality of care from theatre staff and the anaesthetist have all been passed on to our Head of Nursing for Women's Services. The team will be delighted with the fantastic description of how you were supported throughout your journey, particularly on the support for birthing partners. We have noted this as an area for the Trust to work on, and we are making improvements to our estate, as well as to day to day processes so partners are included and so for example can stay overnight at the ward manager's discretion in certain areas and get a hot meal and beverage on arrival as we know how important these elements of care can be. I am sorry you experienced one midwife as being unfriendly and if ever this happens in any experience you have in the hospital in future please ask to speak to the Matron or Head of Nursing and any issues will be dealt with immediately as that is how we work. You also noted a delay in discharge and this is clearly an important area for us to work on, thank you for highlighting it as a pinch point for you as it confirms that we will need a focus on this area, to learn and to improve.

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