"Understaffed and under-stocked in Maternity"

About: University Hospital (Coventry) / Maternity

(as the patient),

My waters had broken so I telephoned the labour ward who advised I must get immediately there. I arrived not long after at about 7.30pm, and was abruptly advised to take a seat in the waiting room as they were full. There was another lady also having to wait who was quite advanced in labour. We were left in the waiting room and weren’t called through until 11pm to the examination room. The midwife told me she had other women to see to and gave me the call button incase we had any problems. Me and my son finally got checked over at 12.15am, and I eventually got given the entonox and again was left alone. My husband had told the midwife as soon as we got there that I would be wanting an epidural but this message never got through to the delivery suite so by the time I was really needing it, it was too late to be given as I was fully dilated. The MW had put a cannula into my hand, which I managed to half take out, so the MW proceeded to push the same cannula back in with no stylet. It seemed like they are just so understaffed and under stocked. Every time the MW went to the cupboard the stock she needed wasn't there so she had to leave the room and then got questioned by other staff for things. I ended up needing an episiotomy, when the MW used the scissors (which i have now learnt they are not allowed to use) she reported that they were blunt, but still continued to use them.

Things didn’t get much better on the wards afterwards, I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding at first, every time i pressed the call button to ask for assistance I got a different person and different advice (one MW even told me off because she had told me to keep trying to get baby to feed constantly and then a different MW told me to give us both a break!)

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