"Mixed feelings about the maternity unit"

About: Leicester General Hospital

We have mixed feelings about our experience at the LGH Maternity Unit. In 2011 I had my son here after a 26 hour labour, some complications and emergency c-section the unit were absolutely amazing.

We returned in October for a planned c-section. We arrived at ward 30 at 7am, no food can be eaten from midnight so my last meal was the evening before at 6pm. No water was allowed from 6am except designated times every few hours and then it was a tiny cup of water. The unit was very busy and as such closed, which was obviously putting alot of pressure on staff.

As we live 20 mins away and I was 3rd on the list for my section I suggested taking our numbers and allowing us to go home and then calling us when they wanted us back....but was told we had to wait, in the day room, which doubled as a kitchen with people in and out cooking and drinking. Not the best scenario having been starved since 6pm and desperately thirsty and getting dehydrated.

Got to 4pm and we were taken through to delivery told it would be about 10-15 minutes, got taken in at 6pm. Staff in theatre were absolutely brilliant. Very reassuring and supportive. After the baby we got moved into recovery where had some minor complications and again staff were brilliant!! Although consultant afterwards stated that he thought the issue might be due to the fact I was very dehydrated!! Then moved back onto ward and had a good night with very supportive staff helping me feed and giving me painkillers etc.

Got woken up at 7am and told I was moving room. All of my belongings put in a bag and I was wheeled into a room by myself. I was told breakfast was coming so I would have to put my baby down. He started to cry and I couldn't reach him, my phone, nappies, water everything was all across the room. I felt a bit silly having to buzz just to ask someone to pass me some water and the baby. Breakfast lady didn't come until 830am so there was no need to insist I put a hungry little baby down!

I was told I then had to get up and walk around (13 hours after surgery) which I was 100% not ready for but felt very bullied into. As soon as I stood up and got into a chair I felt light headed and sick. So they let me get back into bed.

At 4pm I buzzed to ask for painkillers as I was in pain and was told drugs trolley was on it's way. Buzzed again at 5pm and told the same. At 630pm buzzed and insisted I was given something as was in agony! Very apologetic staff member told me I had been missed off the drugs round

Next day asked to be discharged. Required 3 wees, by 2pm had done them, been up and showered. Despite telling 3 members of staff my chart wasn't updated, wee sat on side in my room. Therefore chased them at 8pm and was informed I hadn't weed! Again apologetic staff who paged the Dr and got me discharged quite quickly

The staff at the hospital are brilliant but very understaffed to the detriment of patients Which is very unfair on them, and the patients! Major difference in 2011 to then 2014

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Leicester General Hospital

Dear reviewer,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment.

We are really sorry to hear about your experience while waiting for your C-section and the care you received afterwards on the unit. This does not reflect the high standard of case we expect our patients to receive.

We experienced a very high level of activity and a large number of births during September and October this year. As such, we have recruited more midwives and support staff in the last two months and the staffing numbers have already increased on the ward and delivery suite. We are also looking at a different area for women to wait for a caesarean section as we realise that the dining room is inadequate and inappropriate.

I would like to meet with you at home or in the unit to discuss your concerns further so we can improve our service for future patients. If you are happy to do so, please contact me by calling 0116 258 4865 or email Joan.Morrissey@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Kind regards,

Joan Morrissey

Senior Midwife

Leicester’s Hospitals

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