"Long waiting times, broken equipment,..."

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

After quite some time trying my husband I are finally expecting our first child. As all first time parents will know it is very difficult to choose good antenatal care and you have to put a lot of trust into people you don't know. I had my appendix removed at this hospital years ago and I was rather impressed with how they treated me. Recently I have been left more than disappointed by our appointments there. Appointments always run 1-2 hrs late. It is a struggle to get both of us there on time as we are in full time employment, but we have mad all appointments on time. We are then left to wait in the incredibly noisy waiting room. You are not able to relax at all. This is not the staff's fault as many people come there and shout at eachother, eat their food and leave a huge mess (right next to the bins). Toilets are disgusting. Bin overflowing on several occasions, toilet blocked (which I reported and in the 2 hrs we were there nothing was done). Our biggest disappointment was our first scan. Automatic appointment machine was broken so we had to stand for 20 minutes in thequeue. Your tiny Reception is clearly under strain, get a bigger desk and computers that work. We waited until 30 minutes past our appointment time before seeing a couple arrive -late- and jump the queue to go ahead of this. Instead of being relaxed for our first antenatal visit, husband I were very upset. After I and another pregnant lady (also waited 1hr) complained the bewildered reception staff told us 'we are sharing lists today' and pointed at a clip board with pen scribbles on it. What does that mean to us? Terrible communication. 15 minutes later the sonographer called us in and the ultrasound where we first saw our miracle child for the first time was completed in 10 minutes flat. A very cursory explanation was given and we were told to wait outside while they updated our notes. They also promised to come speak with us and explain the scan which we were very eager to hear about. We waited Outside and our notes were given back. I had some blood done (your phlebotomist is amazing) I also saw them pick up the scattered toilet paper which was being tracked out the shameful toilet into the waiting room fand some cups and put them in a bin. A proactive staff member. Long story short after waiting another 30 minutes we left not being capable to wait anymore. I did ask about our next appointment which just said 'GP' in our appointment card, this time I spoke to another receptionist about what I may expect from a 16 week GP appointment and I was given a very sarcastic answer of 'sorry I've never been there before' and a smirk. I was so shocked. My husband wanted to stay, but I was too emotional and tearful to be messed around anymore. It appears we have chosen wrong at St Mary's Antenatal and I am seriously considerin switching hospitals.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is very concerned to read of your experience and we sincerely apologise for the distress caused at such an important time. One of your senior midwifes would like to speak with you so that we can address the concerns you have raised and also ensure that we provide the care and support we aim to provide for all our women. Please contact our PALS service with your details pals@imperial.nhs.uk We look forward to hearing from you.

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