"My daughter gave birth by C-section ..."

About: St John's Hospital

(as a relative),

What could be improved

My daughter gave birth by C-section at the hospital today, and wanted my wife and her partner to support her. My wife, a former assistant professor at a medical school, travelled back from Switzerland, where we live, accordingly.

Upon arrival she was told that only partners were allowed to support during the birth. Not only that, but that NO VISITORS other than partners were allowed in the maternity unit, even after the birth. This, despite the fact that my daughter asked for her to be present. How can this be patient centred care, ignoring the wishes of patients? How can a maternity unit refuse any visitors other than the partner? It truly takes the shine of what is meant to be one of the most special days of one's life. Certainly, both my daughter and wife were extremely upset by this mean, petty rule. I worked with the NHS for over 20 years and this is the first such instance I have come across - occasionally, wards or even whole hospitals have to be closed to visitors for health reasons - infection control, MRSA outbreaks, or even H1N1 outbreaks - but this does not appear to be the case here.

A truly disappointing "own goal" management decision, and one which damages the reputation of the unit.

Story from NHS Choices

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