"giving birth on a ward..after induction..shambles"

About: Birmingham Women's Hospital

Have just came back from bwh after giving birth with my third child. Went onto ward one in the daytime at one o clock had my first propress with a brilliant midwife. Night staff came on and nothing had progressed so I was given my 2nd propress. Eight o clock came and my partner was rudely told he had to leave as visting hours were over. I then started having contractions at twelve monitored for an hour first and then being told I would be examined after. which was a lie, I was told I wouldn't be until 3.00 regardless of me insisting.. Had very painful contractions for four hours where my partner was not allowed onto ward to support me regardless, and told I wasn't in labour numerous times it was just a side effect of propress. needless to I gave birth on the ward, my partner missed the birth. I was offered no gas and air, or to be taken to delivery suite and was ignored when I told them I was about my painful contraction with only a student midwife present. Had to give birth in full view of the women in the opposite bed on ward. no dignity being wheeled through hospital. Needed stitches after but decided not have them done as I found the whole experience a shambles and quite shocking I just wanted to leave. That is what I pay my taxes for..

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Response from Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We are so sorry to hear about your experience and that your felt let down by our service. We take feedback very seriously and are working hard to ensure that all women have the best possible labour experience. Without knowing more about your situation, I will try to respond by sharing with you what we aim to do for women giving birth at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

We are so pleased that your first midwifery experience on Ward 1 was a positive one. However, we are very sorry to hear about what followed. You were disappointed that your partner was not allowed to stay on ward one outside of visiting hours. Currently partners are allowed to stay in extenuating circumstances. In this case usually the woman is in a side room. Prior to labour when women are induced, it is suggested partners go home to get a good night’s rest as the induction process can be quite lengthy and our wards are not well-equipped for partners to stay. Many women do not enjoy other women’s partners being present for cultural, as well as privacy and dignity reasons whilst they are trying to sleep, particularly as accommodation would be within the context of a four bedded bay.

We are working on plans to build a new hospital which will have all single rooms which will better accommodate overnight guests. We do welcome fathers to stay as long as the woman is in labour but we do not intend for women to actively labour on the wards. We would need to discuss your personal situation with your notes as to why this happened to you. We do offer an ‘After Thoughts’ service where your personal care can be discussed with a senior member of the midwifery team.

I’m very sorry the midwife spoke to your partner rudely. It is part of our trust values that parents feel listened to and supported in all aspects of their care, including when they feel their labour is progressing more quickly than expected. I am very sorry that this was not the case in your situation. We always aim to ensure women’s voices are heard and responded to. I can only imagine how disappointing it was not to have your partner with you during the birth of your. Our staff aim to be empathetic at all times but we will share your concerns with them for them to reflect on how this situation can be managed better in future.

We strive to be an organisation that puts families first. We would like to invite you to have a personal debrief and review of what happened to you in your specific situation. If you would like to speak to one of our senior midwives about your experience, please contact our PALS Team on 0121 607 2747 and ask for our ‘After Thoughts’ service. You would also be welcome to join our service user forum, the MSLC (Maternity Services Liaison Committee), which works with clinicians to continuously improve our maternity services. Our next meeting is next week, 24 September at 9:30am. We also feedback on parent’s experiences to the Trust Board monthly and should you like, we would welcome you to speak to our Board about your experience. Again, thank you for taking the time to feedback about your experience.

Trixie McAree, Head of Midwifery