"Consent overruled"

About: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

I gave birth to my son in July at Hitchinbrooke hospital. My birth plan was to have minimal medical and surgical interventions as I wanted to have minimal aftercare and be able to return home as quickly as possible. I have had a previous traumatic experience with hospital care and with this in mind I wanted to make the stay as short as possible. unfortunately this didn't go to plan and I ended up having to stay in hospital for a week as my son needed extra care and I was admitted for surgery.

I took this on the chin, as I was concious the most important thing was my sons wellbeing - if only the hospital had felt the same way. There were a number of trainee nurses on the ward, and on one notable occasion I asked for a fully trained staff member to take over my sons care as the individual in question had indicated that they didn't know what they were doing when prepping my newborn son for blue light treatment. When I asked them to stop, they refused, my partner also stepped in to ask that we have another member of staff, we were both ignored - in retaliation I shouted a singular profanity ("for god sake" exchange a word) in their direction indicating just how frustrated i was with the situation (they had not listened to my direct firm requests for them to stop and my patience snapped). When a senior midwife came on scene my partner explained that I was extremely shaken at having the consent for my son completely overruled - the senior midwife chose to focus on the single profanity I had used and not the fundamental mater of a trainee incorrectly carrying out a procedure and ignoring our requests for another member of staff. I feel the consent for my sons care was completely ignored. I was spoken down to as though I was 9 years old and had used a naughty word in the playground - it was beyond patronising and evaded the actual issue of my sons care.

In the night that followed I was ignored by the staff when I highlighted a fault in the equipment (the heated waterbed my son was placed on while having his light therapy had sprung a leak and he was getting cold and wet) I had clearly been labelled as uncooperative by the midwives on shift and I was treated as such, so they ignored my complaint and did not change the equipment. As a result I removed my son from the faulty equipment and held him in my arms under the light all night to prevent him from getting cold and wet (and potentially infected).

The midwives in question were more concerned with themselves than the care of a new born child. I find this unacceptable. I have been looking for the correct details to make a formal complaint however the hospital website unsurprisingly do not make this readily available. This is just a small snippet of this incident which left me feeling vulnerable, belittled, and incredibly stressed. 5 weeks on, I am still playing the incident over in my head and I am still seething from the unprofessional manner in which my son and I were treated.

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Response from Hinchingbrooke Hospital

We are very sorry to hear about your experience and that you could not find the details for our complaints team, which you will find in the Useful Links section of our website. We hope you and your son are doing well, but please could you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01480 428964, or email hch-tr.pals@nhs.net so that we can look into this in more detail for you?

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