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"The before delivery and after care were traumatic...."

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

What I liked

The midwife who delivered my baby was excellent. The obstetricians and the anaesthesiologist were fantastic during the delivery. My care while I was in the delivery room was exceptional.

What could be improved

I was forced to dilate to 8cm without gas and air and with only one injection of pain medication when I arrived on the ward. The midwives monitoring the waiting room refused to check my dilation even though I had screamed for hours and was bleeding. Part of the problem was that I was there over a shift change and none of the staff spoke to each other and every time I begged to be checked the nurse/ midwife would just say that she needed to check with her colleagues. In summary, I arrived at 2am and at 10am someone finally checked me and I was 8am dilated. To make matters worse, there was gas and air available for me in my room; but no one showed it to me until I was being helped into a delivery room. And when ever my husband went out into the hall to ask for help the nurses/ midwives just said that I needed to “quite my crying” and “learn to deal with the pain”.

The actually delivery in the delivery room was fantastic. I cannot fault it at all.

Then I went onto the ward. I was put on the ward after 8pm so my husband was only able to see where my little one and I were staying. My baby was only 3 hours old and my husband was desperate to hold her and to help me settle in but he was forced to leave. I was in need of a shower as I delivered my baby at 5pm and it was 8pm and I was still covered in blood and goo. None of the wards nurses/ midwives would help me. All I wanted was 5 minutes to shower. All I needed was someone to look after my little one for 5 minutes so I could get cleaned up; but no. I was told I had to wait until she was asleep and then it was recommended that I be really fast in the shower. Then the next day I got to experience the food – it was retched. The hospital seemed short staffed as I was told I was going home that afternoon and it wasn’t until 8pm that evening that a doctor came in to evaluate the health of my baby.

Anything else?

We finally left the hospital at 11pm. The reason for that is that the secretary who processes the paper work to get a NHS number for my daughter and fills in the forms left at 8pm with a huge pile of folders just sat on the desk. Each folder represented one baby that was ready to go home, one bed was ready to be vacated, one place that could have been occupied by a new mother. And the pre-labour area was full of expectant mothers because the delivery rooms were fully occupied waiting for places on the ward to open up! One of the midwives had to fill out my paper work after my husband insisted that we leave and after we treated to just walk off the ward with our baby so that we did not have to spend another night in that wretched place. Since it was after 8pm, my husband was asked to leave the ward; which he flatly refused as he was not leaving with out me and the baby – particularly since we were told we could go home in the afternoon and it was well into the night by this time. One of the midwives decided to call security on him. Security came and said he needed to wait just outside the doors so that he could see me and the baby but he was just outside the ward – ridiculous! The staff was rude, inefficient and the midwives who were trying their best to help were bogged down by the midwives and who were just there to get a paid double time for working at night and on the weekend and not actually undertake any physical work.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. The Trust is dissappointed to read of your experience at St Mary's and we apologise for the unsatisfactory expereience that you report around the birth of your baby. We appreciate your feedback and would like to assure you that your comments will be used to ensure the service we provide is improved.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful