"Care in labour excellent ... Care on ward poor"

About: The Great Western Hospital

I am speaking from the perspective of mother and birthing partner to my daughter who gave birth at the Great Western Hospital in March 2016. My daughter is far too busy caring for her little one, to be able to make a comment. I feel that this comment needs to be made, to help other mothers in the future.

The care and expertise in the delivery suite was peerless. Congratulations to the amazing staff who guided us through what turned out to be a very challenging birth.

It is a great shame that the peri-natal care did not match up to the outstanding care during labour.

During the induction, I was ejected from the ward and prevented from supporting my frightened daughter because I was not her husband. My daughter was in a side room and felt abandoned and isolated. It was not unusual for many hours to elapse before anyone ‘looked in.’ It was a case of leaving her ‘to get on with it.’ This is not adequate and will add to patient stress. After spontaneous rupture of membranes contractions began and after many hours it was clear that pain relief was a low priority. We were told that most forms of pain relief were only available in the delivery suite.

In the post natal period, care was extremely sparse, it is a good job we were there to give care. Pain relief was not given in a timely manner, as the nurses were always too busy. Promising pain relief and forgeting to give it, for hours on end, is cruel really. I would advise new mothers to take in their own pain relief, if this cannot be remedied.

Support for breastfeeding was non-existent. It is little wonder that most mothers fail at this important aspect of mothering. It would be interesting to see the statistics of how many of your mothers are breastfeeding exclusively at 12 weeks. I suspect that the percentage would be very low.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Great Western Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience with your daughter regarding being her birthing partner and we are pleased to learn you were pleased with the delivery suite, however, we are sorry to hear not all aspects of the care you received meet your expectations.

If you would like us to look into this further, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing pals.team@gwh.nhs.uk or calling 01793 604031.

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