"A mixed bag- care on postnatal ward 73"

About: St Michael's Hospital (Bristol)

We were looked after at st Michael's during the birth and post natal care period for my second baby recently. My previous delivery at the MLU and subsequent care had been excellent. The care I received during delivery and subsequent complications was generally really good with most staff friendly, kind and committed to ensuring the safety of my baby and I. However, care on the postnatal ward 73 was less consistent. I was set up on the ward after an exhausting and somewhat frightening night where I'd experienced post natal complications. I was sitting in bed when 2 members of staff came in to clean a vacated bed area. They walked in and upon seeing myself one turned to the other and tutted loudly, making a comment questioning why a patient had been allocated a bed in an otherwise empty room, suggesting this was a major inconvenience. It was obvious I would hear the comment and the staff made no effort to be polite, smile or show any courtesy toward me. I was left feeling embarrassed, upset and very unwelcome. Another more upsetting episode occurred the following day. Due to observations and my wish to wait for my husband to arrive as I didn't want to leave my baby in the nursery area (i have ocd and this had caused a lot of anxiety during my stay with my first child) I missed the allocated breakfast slot. I apologised to the midwife running through my paperwork and they told me not to worry and that they would arrange for something to be brought to me. I was really polite and apologetic. The midwife then left and my husband encouraged me to press the buzzer as baby needed feeding and I was feeling lightheaded and if it was going to be a long wait he could pop out and get me something. A different midwife arrived and said emphatically that they had no one available to bring anything and I'd have to go and look in the fridge in the dining room. As I was walking past the midwives' station a few minutes later I heard someone moaning loudly about patients buzzing and asking about breakfast and that it was 'soo annoying! Why doesn't she just go and get it!' I assume they were discussing me and it left me in floods of tears and feeling let down by the very people I thought were there to care the most. As a patient on the post natal ward I was feeling very sensitive, anxious, vulnerable and overwhelmed and was not physically well either. This whole episode, although it may seem trivial on the face of it, has really left me with bad memories of my post natal care.

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Response from St Michael's Hospital

Hello. We are very sorry to hear about the experience you had during your post-natal care at St Michael's Hospital. Please can we redirect you to our patient support and complaints team (psct@uhbristol.nhs.uk or 0117 342 1050) who will be able to deal with this appropriately for you. Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback, we appreciate all of your comments. All the best.

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