"I had my first child at Frimley ..."

About: Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley)

(as the patient),

What I liked

I had my first child at Frimley Park in May 2008. I felt that the antenatal care provided was generally very good, and the staff on the postnatal ward (with one exception) were excellent, in particular with breastfeeding support. Food provided was of good quality (although portions and in particular amount of fruit and veg were inadequate for breastfeeding mums). I felt that I and my baby were in safe and caring hands on the ward. The midwife and student for the first part of my labour were fantastic, encouraging and supportive. On my readmission to hospital as a result of a postpartum complication, I was treated with the utmost compassion and kindness by the doctors and midwives - they really seemed to appreciate the shock and trauma I had experienced.

What could be improved

I reached transition in labour at the midwife shift change, the midwife and student I had at the most critical point in my labour were both unsympathetic and unhelpful - their lack of encouragement and poor communication with me contributed to a cascade of intervention which resulted in a greatly extended second stage and culminated in a traumatic instrumental delivery. My partner recalls one member of the team which delivered my baby complaining of having to stay past their shift ending as a result of difficulties administering the spinal block. Perhaps they failed to adequately check the membranes in their haste to leave? Who knows. However, ten days after the birth I developed an infection owing to a large retained piece of membrane and was advised by my community midwife (after she had called the hospital) to visit the out of hours GP, when I feel that I should have been advised to return to hospital straight away. Postnatal visits by the community midwives were rather hit-and-miss, without any confirmation of approximate times.

Anything else?

On balance, the standard of care was good, but I think it is a case of extremes. The staff I encountered were either absolutely exemplary or woefully inadequate. I and my baby are healthy, but I still suffer from flashbacks to the more traumatic parts of my labour - and I feel very strongly that it could have been avoided with a better standard of care being offered by the staff assigned to me at that point.

Story from NHS Choices

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