"I can't fault my treatment during our time at the hospital"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital The Royal Victoria Infirmary / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I can't praise NESECH enough.  I was 33 weeks pregnant and I rang the pregnancy assessment number as I had no movement of my baby all day. They told me to come straight in for monitoring - that was at 3. 30pm. Myself and my partner went straight in and I was hooked up to a CTG monitor which showed that my baby had a steady heartbeat however it was not showing enough variation in the heartbeat fluctuation.

The Obstetrician on duty was called by the midwife and they both tried me in different positions to increase the movements of my baby. The midwife came back and gave me a steroid injection to kick start my little ones lungs as I was told that they may need to take him out but they were monitoring for now- that was at approx 6. 30pm 20 mins later the doctor came back with a portable ultrasound as she wanted to see for sure the reduced movement this showed the baby motionless with a heartbeat so she said that it would be better for the baby and for me if we delivered by emergency C-section- that was approx 7pm

Once the decision was made a barrage of doctors, nurses, midwives came into the room to give me information, ask me questions and ask if we had any questions etc. then I was taken to theatre. I was put under GA and at 8. 41pm  my son was born weighing 4lb 3 however he was not breathing and so was put on a ventilator to help him breathe he was then put in a transporter to be taken to the RVI who specialise in caring for babies round the clock.

I found out later that The RVI team had been on standby 'just in case' I was in recovery and he was brought to me so I could see him before he went. My son stayed in the RVI for approx 72hrs until he was breathing on his own and then was transferred back to NSECH special care baby unit for continued care until he put on weight and was feeding well. I had been discharged at this point but I was able to visit at any time of the day and call for updates at any time. My son did well and he was allowed to come home.

The nurses on the scbu were excellent and very informative including us in on all decisions with my sons care. They also allowed us to provide care to our son so we were able to bond with him even when he was in an incubator. The facilities were brilliant. There was always a breast pump available to use so I was able to express much needed milk to feed my son and a milk kitchen to store the milk, there was a separate kitchen to make tea/coffee and eat food so I didn't need to leave the ward. There was also a parents room that we were asked to room in with our baby for 48hours before taking him home so we could get used to our sons routine whilst still having help on hand if it was needed.

My antenatal and postnatal care was superb and no question or query I had was a bother to any staff member. They all did there utmost to answer and help me and if I hadn't of rang in and was asked to come in it could have been a different outcome. My son is now 6weeks old and is thriving and he shouldn't even be here officially until next week. We are entirely grateful to all the staff in ward 16, birthing suite and the scbu and also the partnership they have with Newcastle Trust so that the RVI could be on hand to take over with the specialist care initially with the help with my sons breathing. I can't fault my treatment or my sons treatment during our time at the hospital. Communication was brilliant and during our stay there was the cyber attack which made the computer systems fail and even during that the staff were great and the level of care never faulted.

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Responses

Response from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear FirstTimeMam,

This must have been such a difficult time for you, but I am absolutely delighted to hear that your precious son is now thriving and healthy at home where he belongs, a huge congratulations to you and your family. It is so uplifting to read such a heartfelt review of your time with us and I couldn’t be happier to know that our staff provided you with such outstanding care throughout your stay.

I am grateful that you were seen so quickly by our teams and action was taken imminently to take care of your new son. It is so important for us to be able to provide a special place for parents to bond with their new babies and it is lovely to know that the facilities available to you were so highly thought of. I am so glad that you were kept involved in all of the decisions with regards to your son’s care, undeniably crucial at a distressing time like this.

Reading your review has made me proud of the units at our hospital and our partnership with the RVI. I know our staff will be touched by the kindness of your words which I will be very pleased to pass to them.

If there is anything more we can do for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes to you all,

Jessica

Jessica Mallach – Head of Quality Improvement and Patient Experience