"On the whole a good experience"
About: Darent Valley Hospital Darent Valley Hospital Dartford DA2 8DA
Posted by Rousel
Whilst in labour I had a midwife assigned for the entirety. She was brilliant and calming. She explained everything and was a huge support (it is such a shame I cannot remember her name, she is an absolute credit to the NHS). I was taken into surgery for a ventouse delivery after a very long active and ireregular labour. All of the staff were again brilliant. The problem started once I was on the ward with my newborn. I had had an epidural and wasn't able to move very well. My son was in the cot too far far me to reach when crying. I pressed the buzzer and a member of staff came and handed the baby to me and then left. Great, although now I cannot put my son back down. As it was gone midnight I didn't want to disturb them or the other mothers on the ward. I had to prop my son against me with a pillow to sleep. The next morning I was advised that my catheter would be removed so I could get up and have breakfast (you were not allowed breakfast in your bed, you had to get up and walk to the far end of the ward). About an hour later (with a full bag), no one had came, so I emptied the bag myself in the cardboard bowl, unhooked it and tried to hide it whilst I walked to get some food (bear in mind I hadn't eaten since 6.30pm wed, it was now 8ish am on fri). The whole time I had to leave my son out of sight. My husband arrived around 9.30 am and my catheter had still not been removed. I had to ring the buzzer and ask for it to be done. The nurse advised that there was a change of shift and the message was not passed on. I had to wait another 25mins for it to be taken out. During this time of being on the bed with no underwear on, lying on a maternity towel, 3 people opened he curtains and just walked in. My entire private area on show. These were not nurses, they were the bounty lady, a woman asking us to come to the "church" in the hospital and one trying to sell photos of the baby. A nurse/doctor I would not have minded, but these people should not have access to the beds. I could not wait to get home. I felt awful but had to get out of the ward. Such a contrast to the exceptional service I had received during labour and delivery. It seems that once this was over, I was herded like cattle and forgotten about. I am due to have my second child at this hospital next year. I know I will be looked after before the baby is born. After that I know that I will have to deal with things on my own. I will be getting out of there as quickly as possible.