"Maternity care good/bad points and possible improvements"

About: Northern General Hospital / Accident and emergency Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Maternity care Sheffield PCT Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as the patient),

Good points - The community mid wife was always on hand for text queries, phone calls or visits, very well supported and good after care. I went through a lengthy induction process and then emergency C-section, the care before the birth was second to none, with 1:1 support all the time, couldn't fault that. The mid wife’s were great and very friendly and helpful. After a week at home i had to return to hospital due to stomach pain and the ambulance crew where brilliant, can't fault them at all. Also can't fault the care i got in the maternity hospital on my return, great doctors, nurses and a really friendly and kind cleaner.

Bad points - After care in hospital after the birth. Intensive care - was left holding my baby whilst waiting for transport to another ward and was so exhausted but didn't have the energy or will power to ask anyone to take hold of baby so had to force myself awake. There wasn't any staff around to ask even if i had been able to. I moved to a shared ward which was the protocol for 24 hours but i asked for a single room after this due to panic and anxiety attacks and also IBS for my own toilet facilities. This never was available and i ended up discharging myself a day early as i couldn't stand being on the shared ward anymore.

The mid wife support i received on the shared ward was mixed but mostly bad. Once nurse tried to put drugs into my cannula and pressed the syringe and the drugs went all over my hand as she hadn't open the cannula. She just laughed it off. The same nurse had to remove my drains and on one it was very painful and i had to ask her to stop, she then realised that the drain wasn't open and this was causing the pain. When she released this the drain came out fine but a pool of blood went on the floor and it stayed there for a number of hours before it was mopped up. I had a catheter in place and this was never checked regularly, one mid wife walked past that wasn't looking after me and noticed how full it had got and changed it straight away.

The basics of a table to eat off was not there and as you can imagine after a complicated C-section the last thing i was able to do was eat my food from my lap whilst sat in bed so really struggled with this. When i asked if there was one i was told they were short of them.

This was my first child so was getting used to child care, i was unable to get myself out of the bed for 48 hours due to pain so when my daughter cried i had to ask a nurse to either help me out of bed or pass me my baby. One night nurse came in and told me to stop asking to pick the baby up all the time and to just rock her. Far enough now (19 months on) i can appreciate that you don't need to pick babies up all the time but the abrupt manner and inconsiderate way the nurse spoke to me upset me and i cried quietly in the ward.

When i returned to hospital a week later i went first to A&E and i was in considerable pain. There was a notice on the wall saying pain relief would be given in 20 minutes from arrival. I waited over an hour for this and when it was going to be topped up the nurse was doing this when the transfer ambulance came so she said she'd only put a bit in, therefore i was in pain on the journey to the maternity hospital.

Improvements - Considerate and well trained staff at all times, to speak to patients with understanding and even if they are busy give time to each patient to discuss their worries. I had a great night nurse on my second admission who sat with me each night for a good 30 mins and we just chatted, it made you feel listened too and gave a friendly atmosphere. Tables at each bed so patients don't have to struggle to eat and drink. Facilities to take babies with mums when having scans, i had to leave my daughter for over an hour whilst having one scan and when i returned it seemed to me the nurses had not even checked on her.

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