"I was told it my fault that I had to have a c-section"

About: Aberdeen Maternity Hospital / Obstetrics (Maternity care)

(as the patient),

I gave birth to my baby by emergency c section in early April of this year. I ended up having an emergency section after about 2 days in the hospital as my baby was "back to back" and had not fully engaged. The midwives and doctors on duty in the labour suite over my 24 hours in the labour ward and also during my c section were really amazing but when I got to the delivery ward to recover it was totally different.

I was admitted to the ward in the early hours of Thursday morning and was repeatedly told that I was not allowed to have a shower, this continued until the Saturday morning when they finally allowed me to have one. Furthermore at least 2 of the midwives on duty there informed me that it was my fault that I had to have a c section in the end as I didn't try hard enough during my pregnancy to ensure my baby was in the correct position, and that it was up to me to ensure that I didn't have one with any future pregnancies.

I brought this up with my GP and Health Visitor after I got out of hospital and they both told me that this was completely untrue so I don't understand why the staff at the Maternity Hospital tell people this especially when it adds a further level of stress and upset to an already stressful event.

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant, Person Centred Care, NHS Grampian

Dear LuckyLuckster

NHS Grampian aims to be a caring, listening and improving organisation. As such we take all feedback very seriously with a view to learning and sharing. We are grateful for your positive feedback. It is disappointing that you felt stressed by the comments of our staff and that your personal needs were not met in the manner which you would have liked.

If you would like to share your experiences in more detail please contact me by email loldroyd@nhs.net or by telephone 01224 558449. In the meatime we will pass on your feedback to the service concerned.

Thank you for taking the time to post your feeback. We send our best wishes to you and your baby and hope you are both doing well following the birth.

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Response from Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead, Directorate of Health Quality and Strategy, Scottish Government

picture of Craig White

Dear Luckyluckster,

What a dreadful experience to feel blamed and that you did not try hard enough - which as you say only adds to stress and distress. I note that Linda mentions her disappointment about this experience. I too am so sorry that you had this experience - but also want to make sure that you know how important we feel it is that someone says sorry to you. I apologise that you were left feeling this way after a care experience within NHSScotland.

If you decide to make contact with colleagues in NHS Grampian I hope they might feel able to share details of any changes, learning or improvement that might be needed to make sure no-one else feels they way you did in the future. I will keep an eye out for further updates and if there is learning posted on Patient Opinion, will certainly make sure that this shared through various national mechanisms that we have to support learning and improvement when things have not gone to plan for people.

With best regards,

Craig White

Professor Craig A White

Divisional Clinical Lead, The Quality Unit

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

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