"I felt ignored at Lincoln maternity unit"

About: Lincoln County Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

When I was pregnant I suffered from constant frustration when dealing with Lincoln County hospital maternity unit staff. I knew I had serious medical conditions but I didn’t have medical history in UK because I come from another country. Repeatedly, I asked for an assessment and for appointments with doctors, prior to labour. My conditions are quite complex, involving brain, blood circulation and endocrinology, and seriously affected vision. At one time, a normal childbirth in my circumstances would have been considered impossible.

I tried to avoid risk and book a caesarean section, and for that reason I was been told I needed an assessment. But to get an appointment with specialists like gynaecologist, ophthalmologist etc. seemed impossible. I felt that the midwives and doctors I saw treated me in a way that was unprofessional, arrogant and rude. They behaved as if I don’t have any reason to ask for help.

I’ve never been examined by any doctors on my request, no matter how I complained. And the doctor discussed my birth plan without any examinations, which I felt should be necessary in my case. Once I got to hospital, I informed the midwife there that I had not been listened to about my concerns and by that time I had breast bleeding and generally felt very poor. She didn’t look into my bleeding and I didn’t see a breast doctor about it. This makes no sense, because I’m breastfeeding. I’ve been told that a breast surgeon will examine me only after I finish breastfeeding.

I managed to book caesarean after a lot of stress and had emergency caesarean, due to high blood pressure. I was shocked that some nurses didn’t seem able to perform a routine blood sample properly. I have to say, I was concerned about the doctors I saw on the unit. I didn’t see them examine patients and so I don’t know what they base their discussions on. It’s also annoying that each time you see someone new, you need to repeat the same things to them.

I don’t think making a complaint will help. I think I will just be ignored.

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Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Jennie Negus

I am so sorry that you have had such a difficult and clearly very worrying time - and I am also very sorry that you feel you would be ignored if you raised your concerns; please be assured that is not the case.

You have raised a number of issues and I have discussed your posting with our Head of Midwifery - please could you contact us at patientinvolvement@ulh.nhs.uk so we can get a little more detail and help you? Again, our apologies.

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