"Bad experience of understaffed delivery"

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

I have very mixed feelings about st. Thomas hospital, on the one hand it is unquestionably a very good hospital with amazing consultants and it does have very specialist care. Sadly I resent deeply my birthing experience all down to being understaffed on the day and the particular hand over of the birthing unit midwife that was supposed to be looking after me.

I was in the prenatal unit for more than a week with high blood pressure which started to turn into the beginnings of pre-eclampsia, the care at the pre-natal ward was excellent but as soon as they handed me over to the birthing unit it was a shambles.

As I was starting my labor i was left on my own (literally) the horrendous handover between shifts resulted in the midwifery team forgetting to give me my blood pressure medication which then resulted in a hypertensive crisis and I had no choice of pain relief because they had not noticed how advanced my birth was as nobody checked me for over 5 hours. I buzzed and no one came.

When I finally waved for help in the corridor and I was assigned to a team who assisted my deliver in the immediate aftermath I could hear the midwives talking amongst themselves in Spanish commenting how it could have been dangerous for me, unknown to them that I could fully understand their conversation.

To top off my bad experience, the midwife who was stitching my "tear", commented that she was not very good at stitching.

Er! excuse me!

We were quite shaken by the experience at st Thomas, I did not complain because at the time I was recovering I found the ordeal of reviving my experience rather depressing,

I was also very disappointed that I never met the consultant that was assigned to me, he was just a name on my folder. What kind of joke is that? I only ever met a registrar who chose to ignore my husband, baby and I, in the lift on our way to the car park.

I still have a copy of my entire file as I had an ipad with me in case I decided to complain and I think there is no excuse for forgetting my medication and leaving me to have a delivery with no pain relief. The way things are at the moment with the NHS deficit at historical levels and the pressure on the staff who work really long hours, we the patients pay the price. Its such a shame that I had such a dangerous experience in an otherwise excellent hospital.

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Response from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry that you had a poor birth experience at St Thomas’ Hospital. We take feedback very seriously and would like to investigate this further. Please contact Camella Main camella.main@gstt.nhs.uk (Patient Experience Lead, Women’s Services) so that this experience can be discussed in detail. We would like to congratulate you on the birth of your baby and Camella looks forward to hearing from you soon.