"Postnatal care"

About: Southend Hospital

I am a first time mum and very upset with the way I was treated in MB2. I was induced on 28th May 2014 but failed to progress so on the 29th I had an emergency Caesarian. Unfortunately there were some complications and I had to be put under general anaesthetic. The midwives and staff during this process were absolutely fantastic, I can not fault them at all. Being a first time mum, I had no prior experience and so I was expecting care and support from the midwives and staff. The daytime midwives and staff on MB2 were very unsupportive, they made me feel stupid and not important. I was struggling to breastfeed and I had to ask 3 different people to help me before anyone actually did help - it took 5 hours from when I asked the first person to help to when someone actually helped and when she did help she really pulled and hurt my breasts which felt like it was on purpose. The night time staff by contrast, were all fantastic, they really looked after me and my son, when they went off duty I really didn't want them to go because I knew what care (or lack of) I was going to be getting. After the upset from my labour not going how I wanted and how the Caesarian turned out, I was pretty emotional and at the same time I was feeling scared as a first time mum having no experience whatsoever, I had no one I could get help from. I was suffering from severe pains which was ignored by the staff, not one person would look at where the pain was, I was trying to tell them how bad it was and I was told it was just trapped wind (I knew it wasn't and later found out it was in fact my sciatic nerve) they made me feel like I was over reacting. When I was discharged I was still having pains with my sciatic nerve which I explained to the staff before I left and still they said it was trapped wind, it was so bad I could not walk without being in excruciating pain...I walked out the ward, my partner carrying my son in his car seat crying my eyes out as in so much pain...many staff walked passed me without saying a word. I got to the main doors and a midwife was there who told me I should not be going home and grabbed a wheelchair and took me straight back to the ward. The midwife said "well she walked out of here fine" could not believe it...she was so rude, I was put back on a bed, I was so upset and just wanted to go home and the midwife said "if you can walk out of here you can go home" so that's what I did, I hid the pain. When my community midwife came over the next day I broke down telling her the full story, it affected me really badly. She was disgusted and told me to complain, I would like to speak to someone face to face really so not done this yet. I know one thing for sure, if I ever have another child I will not be having it at southend, and the worst part is, I have heard of so many people who have had similar experiences....I will never forget the way I was treated and will always feel sad that my first experience was this one.

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Response from Southend Hospital

Many thanks for sharing with us your story. Clearly the way you were treated by staff was unacceptable and on behalf of the Trust I would like to offer my sincere apologies. I will be taking your comments to the matron for maternity who has responsibility for MB2 and I will be asking her to share this with all the staff as a point of learning. I would also ask that you contact us through formal channels so we can look into this more thouroughly. If you e-mail our complaints team with all of your details, pasting your comments above into the e-mail, they will be more than happy to look into this for you. Their e-mail address is complaints@southend.nhs.uk I hope you are making a good recovery and are getting the opportunity to enjoy being a mum. I would like to wish you and your family well for the future. Kind regards Steve McEwen Patient Experience Lead

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