"They all genuinely cared"

About: Victoria Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

A little background before I tell of my recent experience. I had my eldest son in Ninewells Dundee 4 years ago and the experience was horrendous! The epidural caused me to have serious nerve damage and I was unable to walk properly for 9 months after.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was extremely nervous for my section due to my previous experience. I had mentioned it to a midwife when in before and she had the anesthetist come chat to me to try and ease my nerves. Before my surgery, the anesthetist on duty that day - Laura came and spoke to me and went through all my options. She was so kind and really took time to listen to me. My midwife -Roslyn was great too and really helped or tried to put me at ease. Once in theatre, I felt like I couldn't walk and I just wanted to turn back I was so scared. I spent the first nine months of my eldest sons life being unable to carry him or go anywhere, I couldn't even drive! This for me took away a huge amount of my confidence and ruined a special and important time in my life! Anyway they got me in and sat me on the table, the whole team I have to say were outstanding! They were all aware of my anxiety and really spoke to me about everything they were doing.

Laura talked me through the process and at one point I started to cry I was so scared and I am not usually nervous. I cannot explain the feeling of being there trusting the person not to do the same as before. Anyway, all of a sudden I was told to lie down before I lost feeling. She had done it and I never felt a thing! Amazing, I was so relieved but then realised I hadn't even thought about the actual experience of the section. The surgeon whose name I cannot remember was great too. Laura and another lady stood beside me and talked me through the whole process. I really couldn't be more grateful. When I got taken up to my room, my husband had to leave as it was later on. When in Dundee he was asked to leave an hour after the birth! After a long labour and emergency section, he was made to feel unimportant. This time the staff were great and spoke to him, made him feel like a dad. I hate the way men are treated like they are less important than the mother.

That night, Rebecca Wilson took my son and have me a few hours rest without me having to ask. Last time when my son cried I asked for help as my leg gave way and I was told to feed him more! Next morning I was met with a very cheery Claire, who became a great support through my stay. She showed me how to bathe my baby and spoke so highly of all her colleagues. Her enthusiasm made me feel relaxed. She later came and introduced herself to my husband and spoke to him and made him feel like it was his baby too. She actually helped everyday I was in, it didn't seem like a job it was like she actually cared about us. I also have to mention Kate, a student who was there, she was so enthusiastic and friendly I really liked when she was there. The next night I met Mel. She is possibly the nicest person I have ever met! She took my son for a few hours to let me rest again. I was in a lot of pain with my section. She also stayed with me when I was feeding because I was so tired in case I fell asleep. I met her again on my last day and she was great, she kept checking how I was.

On the Sunday I was hoping to get home, however I had a bad turn and lost some of my vision. It was very scary, Laura and Kate were with me straight away. They stayed with me while they got a doctor and I was seen straight away. I had to go for a CT due to my history. They thought it was best I stayed another night. All of the people I have mentioned stood out as going above and beyond their role. They all genuinely cared. This experience for myself and my husband was like night and day compared with 4 years ago. We cannot speak more highly of the staff in Kirkcaldy. Everyone, not just the people I have mentioned really made it a better experience than I could of imagined. I actually in a strange way enjoyed my experience in hospital and it's down to the way it's run. So I just want to say thank you.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Zaram

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your labour experience here in Kirkcaldy. It was an absolute delight to read. I was sorry to hear of your experience 4 years ago and can see this had a significant impact on how you felt on this ocassion.

It was great to hear you describe staff so positively and brilliant that you remember their names, as we can make sure we get your feedback to them - this will make their day, I have no doubt.

Your description of staff as caring and compassionate is exactly what we want all of the time. As is the atmosphere and professionalism you describe. It sounds like the entire team got it spot on and I am delighted that it has made the experience such a positive one for you. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Kind Regards

Louise Ewing

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Update posted by Zaram (the patient)

Yes they really did!

Thanks for your response,