"Not quite what I was expecting..."

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

I attended my first antenatal appointment last week. I spent a lot of time and effort researching which facility suited me best and had satisfactory reviews and ultimately chose St Mary's. Unfortunately my experience was one I hope not to repeat. On average I had to repeat my answers to my midwife 4-7 times. I had to repeatedly point out mistakes and input errors she had made when taking my medical history and completing my records on the system. She was incapable of correctly copying down my GP's name from a typed out letter in front of her not just once, but several times. She was not familiar with most of my medical conditions, and not even capable of searching for them and locating them on the system (she also input them on the incorrect screen and we had to re-do it all over again). How can you flag genetic and inheritable conditions and assess risk level when you have no clue about the conditions you are dealing with? When I shared one of my concerns with her she laughed at me. The one question I did ask her she also did not answer. She did not ask me if I had any questions. She did not ask me if I had any concerns. She did not tell me about the schedule of my visits and what the care plan was going forward. Pregnancy is already a very uncomfortable and anxiety provoking period. Your clinician in charge of your care should be the one making you feel less anxious, not the one causing you more concern. I am lucky that I have a medical background and can spot the glaring failures - but not everyone has the knowledge or the ability to pick up on the errors their clinician is making. What about mom's to be that place their trust in their midwife and know no better? I would like to give the hospital and the department the following food for thought: - what message does this send to patients about the standards in the department? - what message does it send about the culture in the department when this kind of practice is acceptable? - how does this behaviour comply with the NMC requirement to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the patient, and to listen to the people in your care and respond to their concerns and preferences? - how does this behaviour comply with the NMC code that you must have the knowledge and skills for safe practice, and how does this reflect the practitioner's efforts to keep their knowledge and skills up to date as required by the code? I have my second appointment next year - lets hope by then the clinicians with problems would have been identified and moved to positions more appropriate of their skill level. My compliments and thanks to the reception staff who were very helpful and friendly. All the obstetricians I have dealt with have also been lovely. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I only have good experiences going forwards.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is very concerned to read of your experience at St Mary's and we sincerely apologise. This is certainly not the service we aim to provide and it would be important to understand what happened and who saw you. To facilitate this we hope you will contact our PALS service with your patient details pals@imperial.nhs.uk We want to ensure that you and all your women have an excellent experience so hope you will contact us.

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