"Antenatal Care"

About: Newham General Hospital

I don't normally write reviews, but am pregnant with my 2nd child having given birth to my 1st at The Royal London, which is also run by Barts and was a fairly good experience. I have heard horrible birthing stories at Newham, but having moved, Newham is now one of the closer hospitals to me. So far, I have attended my booking appointment and a consultation. At the first appointment for the booking, I strolled up to the counter and the receptionist decided to carry on typing and not acknowledge me despite standing right in front of them. Standing there rather bemused, a more competent member of staff approached from behind the receptionist and asked if I needed any help and kindly took my name and directed me to the waiting area, where I completed my maternity notes. The midwife booking me in was absolutely fantastic. We went through my maternity history and she gave me absolutely all the information I needed and asked for. I was then sent off to get my bloods done in the room opposite the waiting area, where 2 nurses were waiting. With no acknowledgement, smiles or care, they told me to "sit" and "roll up sleeves" after which they took a number of bottles of blood and carried on gossiping about the diary management with their co-nurse before I was given a plaster and left the room. The only words being uttered were those 2 I have mentioned. My second visit was to the antenatal clinic, where the receptionist was very very lovely and spoke to me with a bit of respect. The consultant however, and I won't mention who (I have a few more appointments to go) just told me that I will come in for an additional scan without even entering into any conversations with me as to why, what is it they are looking for etc etc. Newham is located in a very ethnically diverse area, and for many people English is not their first language. My midwife was surprised when I mentioned that English was my first language. As a result, I feel that most of the staff, try to communicate as very little as possible. Maybe they don't care, or maybe because I am brown they assume that I cannot speak English and do not want to talk about my treatment and options and health generally. Which of course, I do. I appreciate it may be hard when most of the community you are dealing with might not have English as a first language, but everyone has to learn and at the frontline of services, I think the staff are in the best position to show all what great british manners and care should be.

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Response from Newham General Hospital

We are very sorry to hear of your poor experience when you attended the antenatal clinic.  Please be assured your comments have been shared with the senior midwifery team for this department, who have been asked to review the issues you have raised. In the meantime, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail and encourage you to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 3594 2040 or by email pals@bartshealth.nhs.uk.

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