"I was appaulled by the visit to ..."

About: The James Cook University Hospital

(as a relative),

What could be improved

I was appaulled by the visit to the maternity unit that my husband and I endured today. It was completely disorganised, massively oversubscribed and led by a 'healthcare assistant' who was unable to answer even basic queries and made a number of inappropriate comments. By the time the huge group collected she had invariably finished the talk about that area of the hospital making the visit a complete waste of time and become extremely disgruntled when asked to repeat. Unfortunately we have no alternative but to come to to James Cook as a result of the difficulties at the Friarage where the care we have received has been exceptional, in complete contrast to today's shambles which left us seriously contemplating a home birth. It was truly awful. I don't think we were the only parents to be who felt like this and will now be very worried about the quality of care/information and negative attitude of staff at JCUH. A horrible experience that has left us very peturbed during what should be a time of great joy and excitement.

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Response from The James Cook University Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry your experience of The James Cook University Hospital tour was not satisfactory.

This hospital tour is complimentary to the parent craft sessions held both in the community setting and on the hospital site. The Community Midwives are available at the sessions and are able to inform women and their families prior to the hospital tour and the week following the visit. This ensures that any questions are answered in the safe environment of the group that women and their families have become familiar with over the previous weeks. I understand that if any questions are raised with regard to the clinical aspect of hospital admission, advice is sought from the Midwifery staff in the department.

The tours start at 1.00pm and dependant of the number of attendees the group is then divided into smaller group. This is due to the tour visiting clinical areas and ideally we do not want to have large groups of visitors on the wards and departments at the same time. I am sorry this was not your experience; however, I understand the staff took more than two groups around the departments, making a total of four tours in an afternoon.

I am sorry that you feel that the staff attitude was not satisfactory, I would like to assure you that this in not the normal standard of staff who work in our team. As a result of your comments all staff will be asked to reflect on their behaviour and communication skills whilst in contact with the families we care for.

As a result of your comments the number of days the tours are offered are to be increased and an experienced Community Midwife will be in attendance to answer any questions women and their families may have. In addition, Community Midwives have been asked to inform women that the tours are complimentary to the community parent craft sessions.

If you wish to discuss your comments further please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 0282451

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