"Maternity Feedback - A mixed bag!"

About: Tameside General Hospital

Firstly, I would like to say that every member of staff that I met was very nice, and seemed to care about what they were doing, however the care was not always up to scratch. After arriving in labour, my midwife was extremely good, however they were distracted because they had another patient to attend to, it was clear that there wasn't enough staff on to cover everyone. When the shift changed, my new midwife was starting their first shift on the labour ward, having come from another hospital. This is where things went downhill, they clearly hadn't been trained well enough on the equipment at tameside, or where things were, who to ask questions of etc. They accidentally inflated my blood pressure cuff 5 times in a minute, they didn't have a code to access my epidural, then got the tube trapped in the machine without realising (then was called to an emergency leaving me in ever increasing pain until my husband fixed it!), they couldn't find equipment, didn't change my catheter bag, tried 5 times to get a canuler in my hand, went through a vein, pumped antibiotics through my vein until my wrist blew up. After 20 hours of labour, having been used as a pin cushion for 20 minutes with increasing pain from a lack of epidural top up... she wondered why I was crying! The truth is, I don't think that this was their fault, I think that as a new member of staff, they should have had a few of their first births supervised by someone who knew the equipment and procedures and things. After 24 hours of labour I went for a C section. The surgeon did an excellent job and both myself and my baby were fine (I have healed well too). Myself and my husband did however find it strange that the surgeon was being pestered by another staff member during the operation, resulting in what seemed like an argument, it was a little surreal to be honest. The rest of the care in the labour ward was exemplary and I was given a private room in the recovery ward when we left the labour ward. Here I met many lovely midwives who treated me and my baby very well. I decided to breast feed my newborn son and was given a lot of help with it, which was wonderful. However on 2 occasions my son simply was not satisfied with what I was producing, resulting in me awake all night immediately after a major operation. The second time this happened, I couldn't take it any longer (it was 4am, he had been attached for 6 hours, I had been awake since 8am the previous day) I finally asked for some formular, to fill him up and allow me to sleep and what I got... was formular and a massive guilt trip about how I shouldn't give him any! I know its important for new mums to try and stick to breast feeding, but I was ready to collapse and didn't need to be made to feel worse. All in all I think that the midwives tried their best to do a great job, but were let down by external factors, like a lack of staff covering and supervising or a policy to push breast feeding relentlessly.

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for posting both these positive and negative comments. We take patient concerns very seriously and we can only improve if we know what is going wrong from a patient’s perspective

If you would like us to look into this in more personal detail please can I ask you Lesley Tones Head of Midwifery on 0161 922 6179 or Lesley.Tones@tgh.nhs.uk

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing at


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