"Staff in delivery suite were amazing but staff on the ward were the opposite"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I had my daughter at Bolton just over a year ago and although the staff on the delivery suite were amazing, and my midwife called Lesley was quite possibly the best midwife I have ever met, the ward staff were certainly the opposite.

I was brought in to be induced and was put on M2 ward. A midwife came to see me after half an hour or so to put me on the monitor for my baby's heartbeat and after being seen at about 10.30am, I was left alone until 1.30pm when I had to get my husband to find someone to take me off because I was bursting for the toilet. Someone came to examine me around 2pm and I was told that I would be going to the delivery suite "soon". I got my things together and waited, and waited and waited. No-one came to tell me what was going on, and at 5pm when someone brought me some food (which was awful) they said I would be going down soon. It got to 10.30pm and no-one had been to see me, and the lady in the next bed had gone to have her baby leaving me and my husband in a room at the end of the ward completely alone.

My husband decided to go home at 11pm and come back in the morning. He came back and then we finally were taken to the delivery suite at 10am. The midwife from the ward took us down and into a delivery room and asked us to sit down while she cleaned the room which had not yet been done. As we sat there (and by this time I was terrified) someone came and said we had to get out because someone 'more important' needed the room. I was sent to an assessment bay and to a bed with no covers, pillow or chair and was told to wait until all the emergencies had been dealt with.

I went for a walk and by this time was so upset that my husband went to the midwives and told them he was taking me home because I had been there more than 24 hours and nothing had been done. They eventually came to break my waters and from then on everything was brilliant.

I ended up having to have a c-section late at night and was taken up to the M4 ward, where my husband was immediately told to leave, and my daughter was taken off somewhere by the midwives all night. No-one came to check on me and in the morning when I was awake no-one would bring my new baby back to me which made me really upset.

Eventually I had to demand that she was brought to me, and that someone take out the catheter I had had to have so I could get up and go and have a wash. Because I had bled when I got up I asked for some help to get cleaned up because I was very sore, and the midwife pulled back my covers, screwed her face up and said "Oh what a mess" and then walked off. I was shouted at for picking up my baby when she cried during the night, my husband was shouted at for sitting on my bed when I was in the chair, the lady in the bed opposite me had 12 people round her bed one night when it clearly says you are only allowed 3, and on my last night I had to go to the midwife office to get someone to get some baby milk for me and when I stood in the doorway the lady turned to me and said "what?" like I was more trouble than I was worth. If I had not been sent home the next day I would have gone anyway.

I have had plenty of dealing with RBH before and everyone has always been brilliant, but considering this was the birth of my first child and I was so excited, the staff on the maternity wards really made it a bit of a nightmare for me. Based on my experience, f I was to ever have another child I would seriously consider going elsewhere for the birth.

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Response from NHS Bolton

Thank you for your comments on the patient opinion website. Whilst I am very pleased that the care you received from the midwife who delivered your baby was very good, I am sorry to hear that you were upset by the care provided on the maternity wards. The issues you raised are clearly not acceptable and I am sorry that this experience has affected the memories of your daughter's birth. I am aware that you have many concerns about your stay in the maternity unit so if you would like to meet to discuss all of these issues then I would be happy to arrange this. Alternatively if you feel you would benefit from a written response then please contact me via PALS on the telephone number 01204 390193.

Cathy Atherton

Interim Head of Midwifery/Consultant Midwife

Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

(Replied on behalf of the Royal Bolton Hospital)

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