"elective c section"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

I came to PAH Harlow for an elective c section on Thursday. We were taken through to the Alexandra day stay unit on time. Our midwife introduced herself to me and my husband and explained exactly what would be happening. The anaesthetist came to introduce herself to us as did the doctor who'd be performing the operation. We were then taken through to theatre by a nurse. The operation was again explained to us. The anaesthetist was very kind and tried to calm me down as much as possible. Once my daughter was born she was shown to me straight away, my husband was then invited to cut the cord. Once the operation was finished I was moved to the recovery ward, my midwife stayed with me as did the recovery nurse. The midwife tried to help my daughter to breast feed and the nurse kept an eye on my blood pressure, etc. I was then moved to the Samson ward, even the porter was lovely and kept congratulating me. I was handed over to the midwives on the ward who were all lovely. They were willing to help with absolutely everything and nothing seemed too much trouble. I was in for just one night and I have to say that the only issue I had was the night midwife, she came to introduce herself but when something was asked of her she said she'd come back but never did. My catheter bag needed changing which she said she'd do in 5 minutes but I didn't see her again, I also asked her to help me change my daughter's nappy and again she said she'd come back, I tried to press the call button but it was the midwife who kept coming. On the other hand the midwife care assistants over night were lovely and when one of them finally came round she was very nice. The following day I was introduced to 2 more midwives who were a lot more helpful. I asked to be discharged that day as I didn't want to stay another night and they helped me achieve this, everything was done to help me get out. It was a lovely experience and much better than the experience I had at a different hospital having my other daughter. My only problem, apart from the over night midwife, was the visiting hours. Partners aren't allowed in until 10am and are to leave by 8:30. After having surgery and not being able to move, plus emotions are all over the place it would be nice to allow longer hours for partners. Also there are only two 1 hour slots for other visitors, this means that the ward gets very cramped as everyone wants to come at the same time. Other than that this was a lovely hospital and the care was outstanding.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Katie, Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! And thank you so much for recording your experience and your thoughts in such clear and helpful detail. I particularly liked your comment on every staff member, including our porters being thoughtful and caring. I have passed your comment on to the Assistant Director of Nursing for Women and Family Health Services and they will be taking up some of the questions you noted with the team at the ward level. We'd also be keen to develop your suggestions about partners and late or overnight stays as we have introduced this in some areas of the service, so we will be seriously considering how we take forward your suggestion to include all areas. Please do remember you can always contact the Patient Experience Team if you need our assistance, we are on 01279 82 70 84 or at pals@pah.nhs.uk, we are only a phone call away.

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