"pain caused by member of staff without concent to..."

About: Royal Surrey County Hospital

What could be improved

There was a member of staff, an expert in breastfeeding, who touched my baby's naval cord without asking my permission or even discussing it / informing me prior to her action. This breastfeeding expert / midwife, had twisted the naval cord at it's core and made my 4-5 day old baby scream from the pain she caused her. This action was totally unnecessary, and most importantly not permitted by me. I didn't object or make a fuss there and then, and have since blamed myself for the pain this particular midwife caused my baby.

No treatment should take place without prior concent of the patient or their guardians. This person clearly has no knowledge of the rules and regulations which are set to protect patients and therefore needs to be informed about the rules, not to mention humanity.

Anything else?

If I had not been too busy as a new mother, I would have made an official complaint about this issue. My baby was treated like a piece of meat and not a living human being. I was ignored as the guardian and not shown any respect - by this particular breastfeeding expert - otherwise she would have asked my permission to touch my baby before doing so. I cried in the car on the way back from the hospital; my baby suffered unneccessary pain and I suffered unneccessary trauma because of this persons unprofessional behaviour.

There was a time when baby's were thought not to have any feeling and not to feel pain, but those times have past and we know better now. If some members of staff need to be re-trained, then the hospital management needs to ensure that this re-training is in place, before allowing their staff to treat people.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Surrey County Hospital

I was sorry to read your recent review of the maternity services following your birth in August 2011.

As a maternity service we pride ourselves on the care that we give and therefore comments such as yours are very important for us to develop maternity service standards and to ensure that clinical practice is maintained at the highest level.

Unfortunately due to the passage of time it is difficult to address the individual practice concerns that you have raised but I can inform you that we have strict policy guidance for gaining parental consent for treatment and for umbilical cord care. I can only apologise to you for any distress that was caused at the time and I would encourage you to contact me directly by letter so that I can investigate your concerns thoroughly and take any further appropriate action for the member of my team concerned in your response on the NHS choices website.

Kindest regards

Jacqui Tingle

Head of Midwifery

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