"Very disappointed"

About: Horton General Hospital

Firstly,my low star rating is not based on the midwives in the delivery suite. In particular,my midwife downstairs who supported me through labour was so lovely. The midwife was friendly, encouraging, supportive and made me and my husband feel at ease. However the staff upstairs on the ward were the opposite. Apart from the first few minutes when we were taken up and shown to our bed, staff made us and our daughter feel invisible. Initially I had planned to stay in hospital overnight as staff from the delivery suite had suggested it would be helpful as it would offer me good support with my new baby after birth. However this was definitely not the case when we got up there and the staff upstairs made me change my mind and decide to go home. Staff did not check if me or more importantly my daughter were ok. Despite them waking right past the end of our bed to go to another patient in our room numerous times, they didn't even look our way or acknowledge us.A simple smile, saying hello or congratulations shouldn't be difficult or asking too much but there was none of that. I nearly cried when there was a chance I couldn't be discharged that night but luckily we were.The thought of having to stay the night,especially without my husband was awful and upsetting,not what you need after giving birth. I would rather have gone home and struggled than stay there. When it did come to them preparing to discharge me I was made to feel like I was an inconvenience and was being unreasonable. I felt the staff member discharging me was quite abrupt and negative and seemed annoyed that certain things hadn't been completed by other staff and that I wasn't sure if certain things had been done or not. I couldn't wait to get out of there and if I had another baby I would happily go to the delivery suite but would dread going to the ward.I ended up phoning the ward for breastfeeding support that night.I was reluctant to do this due to my experience with staff but needed some advice.I did not feel reassured after the conversation and dreaded having to visit the hospital again so decided to wait the few hours left until my local midwife led birth centre opened to seek support from them and Im so glad I did.They explained that there are certain guidelines that the medical professionals follow regarding care/breastfeeding guidelines for babies in the first 24 hours.They explained that the information I was given when I rang the ward for advice was incorrect according to the recognised guidance.They said my daughter was doing fine and I did not need to follow the advice the ward gave me as it was wrong&we had already achieved the recommended targets for a newborn before leaving hospital.The advice from the ward had caused me stress and worry which was unnecessary.Its so disappointing as the experience I had on the delivery suite was great but then what happened (or didn't happen!) upstairs tarnished the whole thing and I left hospital feeling down and upset but so glad I could leave.

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Response from Horton General Hospital

Thank you for your comments regarding the Maternity Ward.

I am very sorry that your care lacked the compassion that we expect all our patients to receive.

Please be assured that your feedback will be passed onto the Service Managers responsible for the Maternity Department. We would welcome the opportunity to investigate the issues you have raised and provide you with a response.

If you would like us to do this, please do not hesitate to contact the Complaints Department on 01865 221728 or via email at complaints@ouh.nhs.uk who will be happy to discuss the complaint process with you.

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