About: Leighton Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked


What could be improved

Letter that I sent to PALS:

I would like to bring to your attention the lack of professionalism and disregard for patients rights displayed towards my wife and I during the birth of our son Michael.

We arrived at the hospital at around 15:30 on 31/03/2010 as my wife was going into labour, the midwife put us in a labour room for about an hour and just left us there to fend for ourselves, when we advised the midwife that my wife requires a epidural due to having a low pain threshold and becoming violently ill whilst in pain, she mealy exclaimed that we should worry about it and it was the coming to the end off her shift. She came back into the room about half an hour later and wanted us to leave and then said something to the effect of I suppose I should check how for long you are as it turns out my wife was 5cm and the contractions were getting closer, so she decided to leave us in the room and said she would be back to check and reiterated that her shift had ended and really it was for the next midwife to sort out.

About an hour later an new midwife came in, by this time my wife was in agony and we then again explained that she need an epidural and the response we then got was that we should have requested one earlier because after 17:30 there is only one anaesthetist. Shortly after this my wife became ill and started vomiting the first time round the midwife cleaned it up but not after that, so my wife was left covered in vomit, half naked and in extreme agony.

It wasn’t till I explained that my dog would get better care than this and requested who I should pay to get something done, did they midwife then start to do something about it. My wife was prepared for the anaesthetist.

When the anaesthetist arrived he appeared shocked by the state of my wife and complained to his assistant about the poor quality of work done on the drip and he then redid it himself on the other hand.

Anything else?

Bearing in mind that we had been there for nearly 5 hours and my main concern was for my wife’s safety and well being , you would think that someone would mention that she may need the toilet but they didn’t it wasn’t till the next midwife came on duty that my wife’s waters were relieved.

The third midwife was a god send because she actually seemed to want to help and our son was born.

Later that night my wife was taken upstairs to the wards were the main lights were left on all night and was told not to complain because the nurses needed to see, this is the first time either of us had ever heard anything like this, however when the next shift came on they said, oh you should have asked us to put them off.

A few days later we need to go back for a possible infection and we saw the supervising midwife, when we told her about our ordeal she flippantly said “will what do expect from free care”, and that we should NOT write to PALS but rather her manager because all PALS will do is pass the letter on, whether or not this is true I do not know but generally when someone tries to avoid due process they are trying to hide something, then when we told her about the vomit she said I should have cleaned it up myself, of course I did help my wife to clean herself up, but do you really expect non hospital staff to be cleaning the floors.?

To help put this into perspective for you I have lived in several 3rd world countries and have been to as many hospitals and not once have I ever witnessed what went on at Leighton Hospital and the sheer disregard for basic care that everyone working in a hospital should be capable of.

You might be asking yourself why it took so long to write this letter, well to be clear the physiological trauma that was caused to me as a husband and to us as a family which subsequently made it very hard for me to bond with my child was so much that I did not want to relive it again.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

We were very sorry to learn that you are unhappy with the care that you and your wife received during the birth of your son at Leighton Hospital earlier this year. We aim to ensure that our patients receive high quality care on all our wards so thank you for raising your concerns so that we can make improvements in the areas you have highlighted

We are arranging to meet with you and your wife to discuss your concerns in more detail. Following this meeting, we will share with you the actions we will be taking to improve the areas of concern that you have identified.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and giving us the opportunity to make improvements wherever possible.

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