"Excellent staff who could be helped by some..."

About: William Harvey Hospital

What I liked

We met many members of staff and they ranged from good to excellent.

What could be improved

Staff were fantastic. I think patients and staff alike would benefit from...

A male toilet on Folkestone ward and the delivery suite:

The security system is important for the ward but if a member of staff needs to be on hand to let someone in all the time thats got to be distracting unless you have a full time 'Door monitor'. The trust obviously believes in the importance of hospital staff being able to concentrate on their jobs with the recent fuss over the 'Drugs round' red gowns, so why not put a male toilet in these areas and significantly reduce the number of times they are distracted ?

Wifi system for the baby heart rate monitors:

A n E at Ashford has WiFi system for communicating vital stats back to a central nursing station. The same system would be great for babies heart rate monitors. Our baby became bradycardic twice and the midwives were on hand quickly but a system to alert them directly would presumably help.

Anything else?

The sales people on Folkestone ward were friendly but it was only mid way through giving them all our details that we realised who they were. My wife was tearful at the time they arrived but we invited them in assuming they were hospital staff. It would help if they were clearer from the start who they were then we would have said that it was not a good time.

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Response from Steven Hams, Deputy Chief Nurse and Head of Quality, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Many thanks for taking the time to offer your feedback on your recent experience at the William Harvey Hospital. I hope you and your wife are enjoying the new arrival?

I have spoken to Lindsey Stevens our Head of Midwifery about the points you have identified as areas that can be improved.

We have recently moved to 24 hour visiting for partners of women who are receiving care in our maternity units, we did this following feedback from women who wanted more flexibility in when their partners could attend. In doing this we recognised that there was limited availability of male toilets, so we have converted a staff toilet into a male visitor toilet which we hope will help.

Lindsey tells me that they have considered the use of remote monitoring; there are a number of disadvantages to the system not least the limited evidence to suggest it works. We are really keen to ensure that women have 1:1 access to a midwife, who can help and support both parents, and the baby and can identify and resolve any problems quickly, technology is good in certain situations but our midwives don’t feel it would help.

I am sorry to read that you had sales people approach you, these individuals work for an organisation called Bounty who are used by many maternity units across the country. They are mainly an information source for pregnant women and new mothers, in addition they offer a number of free packs to mothers - one for pregnancy, one for birth and one for discharge from hospital - they are packed full of free samples. We have asked our local representative to ensure that they introduce themselves before asking questions and be more considerate to those women who may need a little time and space.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback, I have asked Lindsey to ensure that her team review your comments and wish you all well for the future.

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Response from William Harvey Hospital

Thank you for your kind comments regarding your experience and we are sorry to hear of some of the problems that you encountered. Your comments are very helpful and will be fedback to the division responsible for maternity services. We hope that you are enjoying your new baby and that mother and baby are doing well.

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