"A complete disaster"

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital

What I liked

the midwifes were nice, just incredibly understaffed and struggling with the amount of patients.

What could be improved


Anything else?

My waters broke at home at 1am, and things just got worse and worse as the days went on. I was hoping for a waterbirth at St. Mary's, but because my blood pressure was high, I was sent to QA. I arrived there about 12 hours after my waters had broken, with weak, irregular contractions every 5-20mins. I was told I would be given a drip or pessary to speed things along.

From then on, I was moved from pillar to post, being told one minute, I would get a drip, then the next, they were to busy. That night I was put on a ward with 3 others, my partner sent home, and wasn't given any housekeeping info, ie meal times etc. I was having regular contraction every 7 minutes all night, whilst trying to stay quiet so the other ladies could sleep. I was in alot of pain, and by then very tired. I wasn't aware we could call midwifes to the bed, and walked to the midwife station in tears on a few occasions, asking for pain relief. at 3am I was given a shot of pethadin, which allowed me broken sleep for an hour or so. I was then taken to labour ward at around 5am, (28 hours after my waters had broken). I was then told again, I would be put on a drip to hurry things along, as the risk of infection is high to the baby when there are no waters . I had a bath, and was then told 3 other women had come in, so I would have to wait, and do it naturally. I was examined, and was still only 4cm. I asked if I could use the gas and air, and was told no, as it was to early. (baring in mind I had been up for 2 nights, with painful irregular contractions, and was exhausted) eventually things started progressing, and I asked for an epidural, I was told yes, then no as the anaesthetist was busy. I was 7cm by 1pm. I felt the urge to push soon after, and was examined, but told not to push as the midwife hadn't had her break yet! In the end my daughter was born, but had to be taken to nicu for 3 days as her breathing wasnt right, and she had high infection levels.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Queen Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. I apologise that your experience was not of the standard that should be expected. I have raised this with the Head of Midwifery and she, or one of the tteam would be pleased to meet with you and discuss your concerns further. If you would like to consider this please contact our PALS Service:

Telephone us on: Freephone 0800 917 6039

Email us on: PALS@porthosp.nhs.uk

Write to us at:


Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Patient Liasion and Advice Service

Health Information Office

Queen Alexandra Hospital

Southwick Hill Road

Cosham, Portsmouth


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