"Maternity Services at Airedale Hospital"

About: Airedale General Hospital / Gynaecology

(as a relative),

My wife gave birth to our first child in December 2008. The birth was complicated but the standard of clinical care during the birth, and the immediate post-birth follow up in theatre by the surgical team were excellent.

However, in mine and my wifes opinion, post natal support on Ward 21 was terrible and included: my wife's room was not cleaned regularly during the week she stayed there, on one occasion I had to clean up blood that had been left on the floor for two days; my wife was given inconsistent, and at times contradictory, advice and information by some members of the midwifery support; the attitudes of staff ranged from the supportive to what I would consider to be downright hostile; my wife collapsed, bleeding, in the shower and pulled the chord but waited more than 10 minutes before help arrived - during this period she was terrified and thought she was going to die; one midwife giving advice on breastfeeding made a number of assumptions about my wife because we have an adopted three year old child - my understanding is that staff are there to provide advice based on best practice, not to make personal comments and generalisations based on assumptions; despite asking for details of how to raise concerns and seek redress on two separate occasions, my wife was never given this information.

My wife was so upset by her experiences that it is only now, some 8 months after birth, that she has authorised me to raise these concerns on her behalf. She has asked that I make her experiences known more fully, rather than pursuing a formal complaint through the usual route, so that other patients are made aware of what she experienced, in order that they are able to make an informed choice about which hospital they choose for delivery.

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