Anything else?

Our baby was born there. Although we asked for the epidural at the beginning of the labour the midwife was avoiding and trying at all cost to give us the epidural. She was treating us like you treat kids. Because of that my wife had to suffer internal examinations and the forceps without any anaesthetic. We wanted to see the doctor, but again the midwife was constantly telling us that the doctor was busy when she did not even look for it. Instead of an experience to remember we were very upset and reluctant to the midwife. The day after we were waiting for the doctor for more than 2 hours to put the MMR vaccine to my wife, and in the end they made us come back the day after with the baby, and then we waited 4 hours for a vaccine that took 15 sec to put.

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Response from Ashford & St Peters Hospital

I am sorry that your experience of our maternity services was not better and that your wife did not feel supported in her request for an epidural. Without knowing the full details it is difficult to comment on your wife’s individual case but we would not routinely recommend women have an epidural as soon as labour begins as it can slow the process down. However, as labour progresses we ask our midwives to respect the pain relief choices women make and to pass epidural requests to our anaesthetists in a timely way. Depending on what else is happening on labour ward, there may be a wait for an anaesthetist to become available if they are busy dealing with an emergency elsewhere. However, the midwife should discuss everything with you in a clear way and keep you updated. I am sorry if you felt that you and your wife were not listened to. Our aim is that our midwives treat everyone as an individual and base care around their needs. I would expect our midwives to understand their responsibility as a professional in ensuring that this happens. We will take your comments on board and pass them onto all our staff at the next staff meeting. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail and would be grateful if you could contact me directly on 01932 723868. Louise Emmett Labour Ward Manager

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