"Poor Maternity Care in labour :("

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Maternity unit

(as the patient),

'Super' hospital, shame not all the staff are 'super' : (

I had my baby here last year and it was an awful experience. I was completely unsupported, barely spoken to, and at times completely ignored and disregarded, denied basic comforts at time, water to sip etc and not reassured or comforted once during my labour.

Also was denied to move positions, or even being passed my bottled of water at one point, when my mouth dried up and I couldn't swallow due to the gas and air! because Midwife said she had just put gloves on? ? And the only reason my partner couldn't pass me the water as he had been doing was because he down at our car while I was 9 centimetres dilated fetching me another pillow because my request for an extra pillow for my extremely painful back was also told..... No! ! : (

I could go on with a whole list of disappointing, uncaring, unsympathetic and rude behaviour, certainly not one you would expect from a midwife....

BUT....... Thankfully I have a beautiful, healthy child of which I'm grateful, but a year down the line I am still upset and bitterly disappointed that my first experience of labour and motherhood was so negative and has taken a long time to get over this.

I have spoke about it within our coffee group of first time mothers for feedback for their experiences in case I was being too sensitive or unrealistic expectations of what 'should' have happened in a labour ward, and out of nearly twenty of us, I can honestly say without any embellishment that the midwife treatment I experienced thankfully is rare, but I hope the midwife (who I think was new or still training) should be ashamed of herself and I hope no-one else experiences a first time birth with her! Perhaps its really not her long term job calling in life! !

The staff care afterwards was good, although I think I was just a bit in shock with the whole labour experience and I don't think leaving a first time Mum in a room by themselves, not seeing another person over night was a very good experience. It was very much, just get on with it: (

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


Response from Arlian Mallis, Person Centred Health and Care Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback, this sounds like it was a very upsetting time, and absolutely not the standard of care we would wish to deliver.

I have forwarded your post to our maternity team who will send me a response to share with you. However I would be more than happy to meet with you should you wish to discuss your experience further. If this is something you would like to consider please let me know. You can contact me by email - arlian.mallis@nhs.net.

Many thanks.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Response from Arlian Mallis, Person Centred Health and Care Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

We are sorry that your experience was disappointing. It is absolutely not acceptable for any member of staff to deny care and that you felt unsupported at such an important time in your life. Care and compassion are essential qualities of all Midwives.

Currently, it is with regret, that I can only respond in general terms. However, I will highlight your e-mail to all staff via the safety briefs and discuss it at the Team Leaders meeting. This is not the same as conducting an investigation into the care given by the Midwife in question.

My aim is to continually improve our service and learn from such incidents but my experience is that there is much better learning for the individual Midwife if she is allowed the opportunity to reflect on the care she gave that day. I would really appreciate if you felt able to contact me or give me the information necessary to allow me to investigate this incident in more detail.

My contact details are:

Gail Bell.

Senior Midwife/Deputy Head of Midwifery.


Tel: 01324566000. ext 67484; page 1216.

Direct dial: 01324567484

e-mail: gailbell@nhs.net

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story