"Rude and unsympathetic team of midwives"

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

Being a very scared 1st time mum I almost opted for c section as I was nervous about not getting pain relief on time but I was reassured there was no need for me to worry. I was induced on admission to Queens Antenatal ward due to Hypertension. My waters broke at 11am. On examination my Midwife said it was too early to give epidural as I was 1 cm dilated.

They then left for lunch and in the next hour my contractions got very regular and intense. I was screaming in pain so a MW came and nonchalantly said I had just started contracting, they will examine me after 4 hours! When my MW returned, I was about two hours into labour begging for an epidural. I screamed I could feel the baby come out. When my MW checked me on my husband’s insistence they went “Well done, you’re 9cm dilated, baby is ready to come out, no time for epidural! I was rushed to the labour ward and mins later I delivered at 2:00pm on 20.11.15. The baby’s heart beat had dropped and ventouse cup had to be used for delivery.

Post-delivery, the nurse put my bed upright. I told her I felt dizzy, they went “If you faint, you’ll fall on the bed”. The next minute I fell unconscious. My BP dropped to 33/80. After recovery, I was to be shifted to post natal ward. Considering the callous attitude of staff I did not want to be left at the mercy of MWs so I requested for my husband to stay back in one of the rooms to which they agreed. When I got to the post natal ward, the nurse at the reception shouted “Why is the lady being taken into the room, she needs to be on the ward!”. My husband said it had been agreed earlier but they did not budge.

After much arguing and phone calls between the two wards I was allowed to go into the room.

A nurse then came to take my blood. I winced in pain as they pressed by bruised hand; they hissed intimidatingly “I’m not going to do this, I haven’t even started yet!”. The next day I had a student practising taking blood. I thought I better bear the pain in silence or I would be threatened again.

Clean hospital with good doctors but I wouldn’t recommend it because the MWs let this ward down. There were some good MWs but few and far in between. It’s really down to luck which one you get on the day.

The person at my labour tour at Queens told us “Don’t lose your cool during labour, our staff know how to do their job!”. If they did, they would have shown basic level of empathy and would at least get my discharge records right which I had to get rectified by going back to the hospital! Had they monitored my contractions closely I probably could have got the epidural in time.

I was perhaps too polite for my own good and trusted the staff too much. You need to be stern to be heard at this hospital. My experience contributed heavily to the post natal depression I suffered from and has made me question if I ever want to go for a natural delivery again.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen's Hospital

First of all I would like to start by saying congratulations on the birth of your baby.

I however am concerned to hear your experience regarding our Maternity Services particularly your experience on Labour ward and on our postnatal ward. If you would like to discuss your concerns further, you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service, who will be happy to assist you in any way they can to try to resolve your concerns. The PALS team can be contacted on 01708 435 454, or by email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Halford

Chief Nurse

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