"Don't go if you want someone to take care of you..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

I'm very disappointed! I'm having my second child at St Thomas (I'm still wondering why) I am having few issues during my pregnancy. I called three weeks ago my midwife on call, no replay no call back. then I call the hospital. they said to go straight in the antenatal day unit as I was having cramps as it is urgent matter. I been told that I need to wait two hours, in the meanwhile cramps were very strong. after two hours there were still four people in front on me. As I have a daughter, I needed to leave and collect her from nursery without been seeing!! Midwives just told me that it's up to me to leave and they are too busy and short in stuff. and that's happen all the time you go to the antenatal day unit!

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Response from St Thomas' Hospital

I am very sorry to learn of your distressing experience. It would seem that, in addition to the delays that you experienced, your visit to the Antenatal Day Unit was made even more difficult by a lack of communication about the service. The service management team responsible for the ADU have provided the following explanation, which may be helpful in preparation for future visits: ‘ADU is like a casualty for pregnant women. As in other A&E services, the expected waiting time could be up to 4 hours. There is a triage system in place, and some ladies with acute conditions may be seen earlier than others with milder symptoms. But every patient is seen with the same care and attention. We try to advise women to be seen by the community midwife when possible for all the routine care and non-urgent matters. We also tend to warn women coming to ADU that there could be a waiting time to be seen by a midwife. On occasion there could be more waiting time to be seen by a doctor.’ The service management team apologise for the fact that you did not receive a response from your community/on-call midwife. In the absence of a quick response from your community midwife, you did the right thing by coming to the ADU. The service management team are reviewing performance across all of the areas you have mentioned in your feedback and will continue to strive for improvements in the community midwifery service and in the ADU.

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