"Mixed bag"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

The hospital left me with mixed feelings.Sadly I do not remember many names by now with all the baby surgery hassle etc: - Antenatal care is really poor.I was classified high risk pregnancy and my antenatal was done there.The phone numbers provided were useless,in most cases noone picks up or the lines are busy. It took me 40 calls on one day to reach someone.The emergency services picking me up on the delivery date tried these numbers and could not believe I was provided with those. The average wait during my visits was about 40-60 minutes. Several times I had to wait 90-150 min for various reasons, for example, only to find out that my book was put in the wrong box The obstetrician despite my high risk status could not care less and treated their patients as nuisance. At 35 weeks I felt myself sick, but since I had an obstetrician visit scheduled on the day anyway, I decided to go there early. I explained my situation at the reception and that I am not feeling well, nonetheless they asked me to wait for 2 hours until my appointment.After the long wait the doctor dismissed my complaints with the usual "talking to the wall" attitude. He quickly scanned for the heartbeat and OKed me.I returned home only to find my waters broke after shutting the door and had to call 111 where they classified me as emergency.After I was delivered to the hospital by the ambulance, I had contractions each minute.I have no idea how the obstetrician could have missed those on the scan.

- Now to maternity ward and NICU . I can't fault those people in any way, especially, the surgeon who was in charge on that day and conducted my emergency C-section. Despite someone mentioning the unavailability of space they arranged everything and visited me next day in the post ops to check on me. The surgery was done with the military organisation. The anesthetist seemed to be a bit inexperienced, they could not find my veins and left both of my hands heavily bruised after unsuccessful attempts, so I was a bit worried when they also administered my spinal, but, otherwise, everything was perfect.

- The post ops: the first 2 night nurses were great,but the day shift nurse literally bullied me and reduced to tears several times. Instead of helping me with blood cleaning etc they said "in my country women do this themselves, so help yourself, honey".

It was extremely hot on this day, their comment to me was "your bed is wet, you are sweating like a pig".

Because of the heat, I dressed my baby only in a vest, so they said my baby cloth was "fancy but useless and I should pack it away" (even though I packed as per guidelines) and that he is cold (I believe it was above 30C) and wore him in 3 layers of cloth. They refused to remove my catheter for hours even though I was dying to see my other twin in NICU, my blood pressure medications were forgotten and so on - Maternity 5 - mixed bag: some great midwives but lack of organisation and control. We were also unlucky with a gangster fight in our room

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from University Hospital Lewisham

I was extremely disappointed to read of your experience of our Maternity service. We are committed to offering all women that choose to use our service high quality care. I can see from your comments that we did not achieve this and would like to apologise for this. If you would like to discuss your concerns further please do not hesitate to contact either myself, Helen Knower, Head of Midwifery (helen.knower@nhs.net) or my Deputy Giuseppe Labriola (giuseppe.labriola@nhs.net)

Regards Helen

Helen Knower Head of Midwifery

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful