"Excellent maternity care"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

My wife and I came home from PAH with our baby son yesterday. My wife was admitted on Thursday to be induced, though in the event the induction was only started on the Friday due to a lack of space in the labour ward. Whilst this was disappointing, it's a fact of life with the NHS and something that you have to accept as a non-urgent patient. Once induction was started by the wonderful midwife on the Chamberlen ward, my wife was kept as comfortable as possible by the team there. As her partner I was always kept informed and spoken to as though I was a valued part of the experience, which pleased me greatly. Once my wife's induction was complete (after 24 hours) she was taken down to the labour ward, where the delivery was started by a superb midwife. The room was comfortable, and spotlessly clean. I was able to set up the iPod for some music and be present at all times. We were joined by a student midwife who was equally impressive. Both ladies offered encouragement and assistance to my wife and I at all times, yet still let my wife call the shots. After an hour or so of active labour a doctor joined us and it became apparent that intervention may be required to deliver my son safely. We were told the risks and options and we chose, despite not wanting it initially, to have my son delivered by c-section. Things picked up pace and before long I was in theatre by my wife's side along with around 8 staff. The anaesthetist, doctor and midwife kept us informed throughout and after a few minutes my son was born. The aftercare on Samson ward was also superb - the midwives encouraged and helped my wife to establish a breastfeeding routine, and also took excellent care of my wife - again she was able to make decisions for herself and have a say in her treatment. We're now home and couldn't be happier with the experience, despite the relative trauma of it all. Special thanks are due to staff on Chamberlen, midwives on the labour ward, and on Samson (as well as to the doctor and anaesthetist and their team in theatre) - everybody was friendly, honest and professional and my family and I will be forever in their debt. The NHS is oft maligned and clearly would benefit from more money, but the service delivered inspite of cost cutting and low wages is world class. Heartfelt thanks again to all at PAH.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear James and Alex, I felt a lump in my throat as I was reading your story, as the experience you describe is one I suspect every expectant mother in the land would love to have. Being kept fully informed, with a partner involved, in safe and caring hands, protected where there were risks and with excellent prenatal, birthing and post natal care provided by dedicated and professional staff in a spotlessly clean, supportive environment. Congratulations on the birth of your son! And of course please do get in touch if there is anything else we can do to assist or you would like to come in and speak to any of the staff involved.

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