"Our first meeting with our very ..."

About: Newham General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Our first meeting with our very first midwife at 12 weeks (who we have not seen since) was fantastic, they were very reassuring and took the time to listen to our concerns and go into further detail when they could see that we might not understand, unfortunately this lead us to into a false expectation that following antenatal appointments would be just as productive.

What could be improved

nearly all of the reception staff in the antenatal clinic could do with improving their customer service skill. At the end of the day they are paid to be polite and courteous to patients and all of my experiences so far have had me met with surly disdain from receptionist who behavior as though they are doing you a favor by booking you into an appointment when it is in fact their job! Trying to explain that you need an early morning or late afternoon appointment as you work is met with sighs and eye rolling, asking for a plastic cup as there are none by the water coolers, met with another sigh. Asking if there had any idea on when you would be seen as you had been waiting for over 2 hours is met with an abrupt "I just book people in, if you want to know when the doctor will see you next, you have to ask the midwives because they have your books and they deal with that!" as though every patient is aware of the politics and protocol in a hospital antenatal reception and are at serious fault for not being aware of this. At every appointment which has been made for me to receive results for tests etc i have had to wait whilst they inform me that they have to make calls to get my results, the appointments are made 2 weeks in advance and a reminder call made to patients 5 days prior to their appointment so i stuggle to see why they can not ensure that results are ready for appointments so patients are not kept waiting for another hour. You are encouraged to discuss with your midwives (as you never see the same one twice) if you have any concerns or queries, however all meetings with them so far have left me frustrated and as though i have just wasted the last 2 hours as they run through exactly the same check list as the midwife did in the last appointment and then make me sit as they take their (and more frustratingly MY) time explaining to a trainee how to enter the details of the meeting into their computer system.

Anything else?

After having blood tests continually lost and having to be re-taken, being advised by doctors that they are unable to understand test results, having every single appointment (including those booked to be the first appointment of the day so should have no run over) being late by at least 1.5 hours I am grateful that I attended an NCT class recently and found out from other couples that this is unacceptable and that i should transfer somewhere else before my baby is born - this i fully intend to do!

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››