"Appalling level of care!!"

About: The Royal London Hospital / Maternity

I gave birth here in March 2016. I had an appointment to be induced at 8am (I was already 40 +10). When I arrived, I was told that 'there were no more beds'. Shockingly, I was advised to 'go elsewhere' even though I had an appointment. I refused to leave as I was too scared to go to a random place 2 hours away as they had suggested, in the morning traffic. They finally made me go to random people throughout the day and finally gave me a bed at 7pm. I asked to see a doctor as I wanted advice - a midwife at my last visit had told me that the baby was too large for my small frame and a natural birth may be risky. The midwife told me they will go find a doctor - I never saw a doctor until the next day (more about this later). I was shortly hooked up for an epidural as I had requested and finally I was due to give birth in the morning. When I was giving birth (after 12 hours on the bed) and the baby's head was peeking out, a doctor finally came and told me that there were complications as the baby was too large for me. Why did you not come yesterday? The doctor said I had no choice but to put me on stronger epidural drugs and to make me push as hard as possible as may be an emergency c-section was too late. I was horrified. I could lose my baby as a result of the utter shortage of doctors!!! Thank God, my daughter is alive. I suffered a lot of tears and cuts as a result. After the labour, I was whisked off to the post-labour ward at 10pm. This was a place of my nightmares. I never felt more alone and sad in my entire life. I asked for help with the baby as no visitors were allowed. I didn't know how to breastfeed and I was clearly struggling to feed my baby. I was told a nursing midwife would come - they finally came and gave me a couple of syringes to 'squeeze some milk out' for the baby. They didn't even teach me how to use or do this! I didn't manage to feed the baby and worried that my baby would starve! I asked for water. I was told to get up, given a tiny beaker, walk halfway around the department and get it myself even though I was in utter pain and could barely walk properly. I didn't manage to get more water after that. You could have at least given me a large jug to last me the night? I asked for help to change the baby as the baby had peed all over the sheets and me - I was given none! I cried to myself. Shame on you - you night midwives!!! Next morning, luckily a student midwife came to check on me after the night shift had ended. The student midwife was nice, taught me how to manually express (Thanks to them I didn't give up on breastfeeding!), taught me to change the baby properly and helped me get water. I had severe blood loss after my labour and had chest and breathing problems so I was being monitored. I asked to be discharged as I definitely din't want to stay another night, a doctor came to see me after 3 hours of waiting and told me I had to stay a few more nights. I refused and signed a form to discharge myself. I was that scared to stay one more night!

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Response from The Royal London Hospital

Thank you very much for your message. We sincerely apologise for your experience and we have asked our team to investigate this as soon as possible. If you would like to talk about this further, please contact us on WomensCAG@bartshealth.nhs.uk. Best wishes, Barts Health NHS Trust.

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