"One midwife who let the side down at Bolton"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I have given birth to four children at Royal Bolton Hospital. I have had 3 good experiences which i was very happy with. Then i had my son and it was a completely different experience.

The wards (m2) were understaffed, ladies was actually giving birth on the ward. I felt like i was just a patient number. I would have to say that the midwives I met in the ward beforehand just didn't seem to care, but i have to admit once in the delivery suite it was complete opposites, the staff were fantastic.

I spoke to the head of midwifery about this. She reassured me that this was unusual for RBH because they usually have procedures in place to prevent this. I was very pleased with the outcome of our chat.

I am now on my 5th pregnancy, i have a low lying placenta and i started to bleed again at 25+ weeks. I was told to come to the delivery suite to be assessed by a very lovely young midwife. I saw the doctor and he said i needed to be admitted on to ward (m2), as soon as m2 was mentioned i was reluctant to stay, but i did. When i got to the ward i have to say i was surprised how much it had changed and improved.

On night one the midwife was fantastic, very attentive and compassionate, and there was also an older lady called Claire who worked as a care worker, she was so sweet and sincere she couldn't do enough. I was flabbergasted with the way I was being treated.

On day two the staff were great and welcoming too. I really felt that my opinion had pleasantly changed about m2 and RBH, but then on day 3 i was woken by a midwife - she was very abrupt. She asked where was my urine sample, i said i didn't know i needed one, then she arrogantly said that i (referring to me) do know, this made me slightly upset that i was spoken down to. I had 3 hours sleep all night before, so excuse me for not thinking when I'm woken. Then she came back 10 mins later and took my urine sample.

She said i had an infection - if she would have read my notes she would have then known that the infection was confirmed the morning before. She then walked to the side of my bed to see a red mark on the floor, she asked me what it was, i told her it was blood and before i got finished what i was saying she was adamant it was jam, even though i don't even eat jam. She asked the cleaner over and told the cleaner it was jam, i tried to finish my explanation that it was blood from the drip i had in the day before but she undermined me to the cleaner and walked off in a huff.

I was talking to the cleaner and she confirmed it was blood, she said cleaners are not allowed to clean blood up with the same mop as she was using, then the midwife appeared again and started having a go at the cleaner for not putting a bin bag in the kitchen bin, they were disagreeing for about 5 minutes in front of me, the patient. The cleaner was very embarrassed and obviously felt belittled.

Then the doctor arrived and asked me questions and before i had the chance to speak, the midwife interrupted and spoke for me (she was not even accurate on what had been happening, blood loss etc). The doctor asked me how i felt about going home and i said i would like that, but before i had the chance to say anything else the midwife told me to get my stuff ready so i could speak to my doctor.

I told her that she had upset me with the way she treated me. She then apologised which i took as sincere, then 5 mins later i went to the midwives office and she was talking about me to the doctor.

I suppose my point to this is that whilst most midwives are fantastic, lovely and attentive, you will always get rude midwives who need to learn to listen.

I'm not sure if I want to carry on this pregnancy at Bolton hospital anymore.

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Response from NHS Bolton

I am so sorry that this was your experience whilst on M2 ward. You clearly refer to your disappointment with one particular individual and I can fully understand how this experience has left you feeling let down by our service. I wish to reassure you that we are committed to providing a maternity service where all women feel that they are given care by the attentive fantastic midwives that you kindly describe.

It is heartening to read that your experience initially on M2 ward was exemplary and you felt an improvement on your previous admission and this is exactly the sort of service we aim to provide at all times.

I have noted your concerns regarding the individual and wish to reassure you that your comments will be addressed and acted upon. Whilst I am extremely unhappy to hear about this incident I wish to thankyou for bringing it to our attention, so that we can investigate this occurrence.

If you wish to discuss this issue further then I would be more than pleased to speak to you.

Cathy Atherton

Interim Head of Midwifery/Consultant Midwife

Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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