"Poor maternity experience at Queens"

About: Queen's Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I have over the past three months been contacted by various legal companies who are asking me if I have anything I would like to claim for with regard to the NHS, from botched surgery to false information, to seek compensation, under a no fee no win agreement.

This letter is in a way my story, which I am considering to share with one of these professional bodies, but felt, after hearing from friends of people they know have had problems similar to mine and have won compensation from the NHS via their respective legal reps.

Although I have not considered this in my own mind and since my experience which initially left me traumatised and lost with the early upbringing of my child, I feel and after review believe I was very poorly treated and will endeavour to explain what happened over that period of time, so I can demonstrate my hurt and damaged feeling when dealing with the NHS over this period in my life.

Towards the end of April 2011 I was staying at my mum and Dads house, with my first child. I had not told my mum and Dad at this point that I was pregnant again, mainly due to embarrassment, but once I could not contain this anymore, my mum was brilliant and set off to look after me from this moment on.

She phoned King George hospital in Goodmayes and spoke to someone there who told her not to bring her to King Georges and to go directly to Queens in Romford, as they deal with high risk pregnancies and as I was due at the beginning of May 2011, they felt this was the better option.

My mum phoned Queens and told them that we were on our way

We drove to Queens and this is where my nightmare started. Upon arrival at reception we spent what felt like a lifetime explaining three times that we had called, but no one could confirm, until finally we were accepted, but only because, the pain was evident from the noises I was making.

I was immediately assessed and found to be 9 – 10 cm dilated. The midwife advised for us to get to a birthing room and asked me and my mum to go with her. We were led along a long corridor and made to wait at the nurses’ station. At no point did anyone offer a wheelchair or bed for me to be transported on, all of this was walking from point to point.

I was then taken to what looked like an ordinary ward, not a maternity room or ward. There were lots of people and a curtain was pulled round and I was advised that I would have to give birth in this bed.

After 5 – 10 minutes, the midwife came back and said that the birth pool room was free and that they were going to take me to there to give birth.

They then made me sit up again and walk to the birthing pool room which was again along the other end of the corridor. Once we arrived, I gave birth within half an hour of this time.

In the room was a midwife and a student midwife and I have to confess, the student was trying very hard, but in my situation, the last thing I wanted was to be treated as a test case. She was offered up the opportunity to cut the cord.

She did this under supervision but made a complete hash of it and this had to be done again and tidied up by the midwife herself.

At this point all I was concerned about was my baby, but what happened next was incredible. My mum had to leave to go and see if she could go and buy some clothes, baby grows etc, as my baby at this present time was wrapped in a towel.

I was taken to an antenatal room next, this time thankfully in a wheel chair, as this seemed like miles. I was then left alone my baby wrapped in a towel and that was where we were left for at least two-three hours when my mum came back from shopping. We had no cot, no checks during this time.

At this point my mum left again, as my dad was going to work and was looking after my elder son at home, so she had to go and take over from my dad.

I also suffered the indignity of having people, not just patience walking past and using the amenities in the room, which was highly embarrassing.

After 5 hours, still no cot or any checks, eventually a male nurse arrived and realised what had happened, to be fair he seemed stunned that we had been left there, but he organised a cot and took my blood pressure for the first time.

He then told me that if I wanted something to eat I would have to walk down the corridor to where they were serving food and I could leave my baby where she was. Sorry, this was not an option, so I stayed where I was. Apart from the initial bottle I had fed her, she had not eaten since this time.

I then asked a nurse for a bottle which she supplied and I tried to feed Poppy, unfortunately Poppy would not take her milk, so I stopped a nurse, explained what problems I was having and she told me, you have had one baby so this should not be a problem, and walked off.

I continued to struggle, trying to feed her until I spoke to another nurse who help to syringe feed her, which I did for a further two days of her new life. As well in this time, all Poppy kept doing was throwing up and I was told that this was mucus. I have since been referred and found her to be Lactose intolerant, which explains why she kept being sick.

The day before I was discharged, after three nights I was given a blood test, it took three nurses, four different attempts and three needles to extract a sample, this was in front of my mum and my nan and one of the nurses admitted she always struggles to take blood, so reassuring!

When they left, they left all the excess needles and swabs on the bed, which by the way had not been changed in the three days that I was in. I eventually threw these things into a bin, as my one year old was with my mum.

I felt my whole experience was a complete farce from the time I arrived.

I'm not blaming the hospital for my babies condition, however, had they an opportunity to diagnose something, as we have now spent two days at hospital since then with my baby, due to her dehydrating on two occasions.

For myself, I was put through one of the most embarrassing times I have ever had to deal with. In my opinion the service supplied was less than poor and the actual professionalism of the staff I meet at Queens has put so much doubt in my mind that I would not want to go there again for the sake of my children’s health and wellbeing.

Three generations of my family were witness to what I went through and the risk to my children through the course of my stay.

In addition, after taking my blood sample, I was sent home only to be advised two weeks later at my baby's check up with my GP that I was anaemic, the icing on the cake I suppose.

As I said, this trauma has left me very hesitant with regard to the NHS and its services. And when I have to attend hospital’s I immediately suffer from headaches and start to worry. This is not fair on me or the welfare of my children and feel extremely let down by the system.

If you do not consider this or respond with a suitable solution, this letter will form part of my case when I disclose all of my evidence, pictures and statements from family on what they witnessed at this time and what I went through.

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