"Poor experience of maternity care"

About: Bedford Hospital South Wing / Maternity care

(as the patient),

My waters broke on a Monday evening. Contractions started so I went to get everything checked at the maternity ward at around 2am. I saw 3 different midwives, the different monitors, a lot of chatting about if the fetal trace was ok. They said to go home and come back at 7pm on Tuesday if nothing had started properly. Another midwife came in and said to come in at 7am on Wednesday morning if nothing had happened.

I went into the labour ward at 2am on the Wednesday morning. The fetal monitor seemed to be playing up so I had people come and fiddle with it for ages. (No pain relief offered). At 7am they checked me again and not much had changed, so they started an induction (drip). I had an epidural put in which worked on one side. 2 hours later I told them I had a lot of pressure and it was extremely uncomfortable. The mid wife's response was that I was only due an examination in another 2 hours.

Half an hour later I said the same thing and got a similar response. The monitor seemed to be playing up and different people came to check the heart trace. They put a probe on the babies head which again took a good 45 mins to work properly. His heart rate was low so I got put in many different positions, over and over again. After the 3rd time when telling them I had extreme pressure, they finally did a proper examination. The found out that the anterior lip of my cervix had swelled and I was over 9cm dilated. As his heart rate had not come up properly they called for assistance from more staff. They said they wanted to see what happened of I pushed. His heart rate dropped further and I was rushed into theatres for an emergency c-section. It took another 2 attempts to get a spinal block in. They tried foreceps which was not successful, then delivered him by section. The spinal block was so high that I had a lot of pressure in my chest and felt I couldn't breath. After the op I had a stomach drain put in as the tissue had torn during the procedure.

Once I was on the recovery ward (orchard ward) I tried to breastfeed which wasn't working very well. I now had not eaten for 38 hours and was never offered anything. I called for help to try and feed him, their reply several times was to just a keep trying. After this I was reluctant to ask for any further help. I did however ask for some toast which I did get. Another midwife came in who sat with me for ages (Jenny I think) helping me express into a tiny syringe so I could feed my baby. They soon transferred me (less than 18 hours post op) to another part of the ward which did not have an electric bed. I find it pretty poor that woman who have had major abdominal surgery have to manually raise the back of their bed and lift everything to hook it in place.

I was still on agony, that morning I was told to go to the dining room to go get breakfast lunch and dinner. I could barely sit myself up. So I skipped breakfast. My husband was not allowed to get me food as it was only the patients allowed in there.

I could not yet stand up straight. Jenny could see I was uncomfortable and ran me a warm bath. With help from my husband I managed to get in and out.

I still had not slept. That night I had one of the midwives offer to take him for a few hours. When I couldn't sleep I went out to get him. I found her with him, letting him suck on her finger! ! That finger could have been anywhere. I was pretty shocked. I took my son back and tried feeding him without success so asked for help. That same midwife had the same response... Just keep trying! We found out the next day that he was badly tongue tied, it was cut but even with help from a breastfeeding specialist he still wouldn't latch on.

There are so many reasons I would not go back south wing maternity. Two weeks after my sons delivery we noticed a lump in his neck. It was a benign tumour which sometimes occurs when the neck muscle is torn.

Apart from a couple of their staff, the rest have a complete lack of respect and understanding as well as decency.

I hope no one else will have an experience like it. My husband still doesn't talk about it.

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Response from Communications Team, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust


Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience at Bedford Hospital. I am sorry to read that it did not live up to the standards you would expect. We have passed on your comments to the Maternity team

Without knowing your name or other details I am not in a position to respond in detail to this experience and I assume that you don’t want these details to be published in such a public forum.

You may find that the best way forward is to get in touch directly with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service team (PALS) as detailed on our website at http://www.bedfordhospital.nhs.uk/patients/pals-and-complaints.

You can contact PALS via email to PALS@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk, by calling the team on 01234 795814, or by writing a letter to:


Bedford Hospital NHS Trust


MK42 9DJ

Jacob Brigstock

Communications Officer

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust


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