"Excellent red pathway care - twin pregnancy"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I found out I was expecting twins. The midwife in the early pregnancy unit who broke the surprising news, called Fiona, told me the pregnancy would be considered high risk "red pathway" and that I'd be monitored closely throughout. Fiona was really excited for us which was really nice and added to our excitement.

At 12 weeks the scan revealed that our twins were the lowest risk that twins can be so we did not need monitoring until 20 weeks.

At our 20 appointment we attended the twin clinic for the first time. The twin clinic and antenatal clinic is really really busy, hectic at times. Dr Ellison, Dr Smith and their team of midwives were rushed off their feet but I can't fault the care they provided. I never felt rushed and was always given the opportunity to ask questions if I had any. Dr Smith in particular was very attentive and knowledgable. I had an appointment and scan every 4 Weeks. Paula the midwife sonographer who did all our scans was clearly very experienced, was friendly and reassuring.

I spent some time in triage and again the care I received was brilliant. I was seen quickly and given reassurance and treatment by the brilliant team of midwives. I saw a couple of doctors who again took time with me to explain what was happening.

I developed preeclampsia at the end of my pregnancy. I had an emergency c-section a day earlier than I had been booked in for a c-section, which was necessary as my lowest baby was breech. The operation was performed by a doctor called Aki (I'm sorry if I've mis-spelled that), she spoke to each baby in a really touching way as they were born which made a clinical birth a lovely experience for me. My anaesthetist Elizabeth put me at ease when I was so nervous and I felt very safe under her care. The midwife Joyce who looked after me before and after the op was wonderful. She clearly had a vast knowledge and again I felt safe with her responsible for my care, especially as I was quite unwell with pre-eclampsia even after the babies were born.

I spent 5 nights in the post natal ward 38 in addition to the 1 night on ward 37 before having my babies. Joyce made sure I had my own room postnatally which was a godsend! I was cared for by several midwives and healthcare assistants who were all friendly and caring.

The ward was uncomfortably warm and noisy so it was difficult to sleep especially when I also had two newborns to care for. The food on the ward was awful. The only thing that was edible was the soup. I had one enjoyable meal my entire 6 night stay, which was on the first night on the antenatal ward 37. There was one night where there was not even a vegetarian option (I'm vegetarian) I mostly ate expensive sandwiches from WH Smith my husband bought, I wasn't aware there was a canteen you could buy food from! I was surprised that new mothers who were trying to establish breastfeeding were not given the opportunity to eat more and to eat well. I believe the lack of food slowed my recovery. You are encouraged to be as active as possible following a c-section but as I was very weak from lack of food (pos pre-eclampsia too? ) I really didn't feel well enough to be out of bed in addition to the pain from the operation. I became dehydrated during my stay, again this was not helping me get well. My recovery once I got home was much quicker as I was sleeping and eating much better.

I was shocked that when my room was "cleaned" the cleaner just used one wipe to clean the bathroom and swept the floor - I appreciate people on maternity wards aren't ill as such but I'd still expect the cleaners to clean more.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised how fantastic my care was during my twin pregnancy. The staff throughout the maternity units are clearly overworked but still manage to deliver a high standard of care.

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Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside

Dear fls

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. I was delighted to read of your journey through our service and that, despite having a “high risk” pregnancy, you received excellent care and are now a mum to twins. Congratulations!

I will certainly ensure that your feedback is shared with the Team and know that this will be greatly appreciated.

I was, however, concerned to note your comments regarding the ward environment, in particular the cleanliness, and can confirm that your feedback has been shared with the service to enable improvements to be made.

With regard to the food provided, there should always be a vegetarian option available and sandwiches, biscuits, fruit and yoghurt (vegetarian options included) available at all times on the ward to supplement meal times. Please accept my sincere apologies if this was not communicated to you. I will remind staff to ensure patients are aware of the food options available.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us at what I am sure is a very busy time for you. We greatly appreciate all feedback, both to share good practice and to improve our services.

Kind regards.

Aileen Lawrie, Inpatient Midwifery Manager

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