"My Good vs Bad experience of the maternity unit"

About: Manor Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I have given birth twice in the Manor Hospital and I'm now pregnant and unsure if I should use them again.

My first experience most of my antenatal care was at Birmingham women's before I transferred my care at about 36 weeks. I found when I called the hospital in labour they were very helpful and ready for me when I arrived to give birth. I was in active labour so they did what the could to make my experience the best they could. The midwife that delivered my daughter was a brunette who I think was called Vicky. She was very bubbly and made my experience a lovely one despite having an episiotomy and my daughters heart rate dropping. She even asked for my daughters name to write in her book and when I was admitted to their ward in my second pregnancy she remembered us as came to see my daughter I give her a 10/10.

My second birth experience was also at the Manor so I was delighted to have the chance to Return to this hospital. However my second experience was nothing like the first.

I find their antenatal clinic and staff were excellent but when I started suffering quite badly from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) I had to use their triage department. I felt the staff there were very rude to me and basically tried to send me home before properly even checking me over. I was in so much pain to the point I was light headed. They checked my blood pressure and it was high so they admitted me and gave me pain medication. My first night on the Primrose ward I felt the staff care was ok but after that I didn't find them very helpful at all.

The physio came to see me and confirmed I was given a Zimmer frame as she said it was one of the most severe cases if SPD she had seen. I could not walk without falling and had actually fractured my arm from falling the day I came to triage.

I had to wait 2 days for my sister to come to have a shower as none or the midwives were prepared to help me at all. When I did eventually get in there my sister called them to ask if they could clean the bath as it was dirty. The midwife just walked off, we thought she was coming back but after waiting 20 mins she called them back and the midwife just shoved the cloth across the desk to her. We were appalled.

I felt every doctor who saw me gave me different information and by the time I was discharged I couldn't be more happy. I was told I'd receive a call on the Monday with my physio appointment. No call. I called them and they had no idea who I was. I took two weeks of me suffering at home in pain before I could even sort an appointment date.

Fast forwarding now to when I was 35 weeks I was admitted once again for SPD as my physio wasn't happy sending me home after my appointment due to me nearly passing out twice and shaking and throwing up from the pain. I was told I could get to talk to the consultant but was sent home with no talk or appointment. By this point my mother in law who knows a lot of the doctors and consultants in this hospital due to her working with them previously she rang and got me an appointment straight away.

I went on the Monday as scheduled to my appointment along with my 1 year old daughter in a lot of pain to wait hours and be told to come back next week as the consultant was in emergency surgery. I came away crying which lead to another angry call from my mother in law to actually find out the consultant was on annual leave for the whole week! By this point I felt they were just making a mockery of me I was so upset in a wheelchair with my 1 year old daughter I left the hospital gutted. The week after I went back with my mother in as and they tried the same thing but she was having none of it so we came away with a date if induction at 37 weeks pregnant.

My birth experience on the labour ward just upset me when I look back I don't like to think of it because it still upsets me. I spent 10 hours on delivery suite before I gave birth and the whole time I was refused pain relief being told I was not in labour. My contractions were clearly showing in the monitor every 1. 5 minutes but still I was refused a private room and pain relief as I was only 3 cm dilated. I had explained that I labour very quickly and with my daughter I shot from 4-10 in the space of about 3 minutes.

I was told to go in the bath and my fiance sent home. I cried uncontrollably when they told him to leave as in knew my body and knew the baby was coming. I begged him not to leave but they kicked him out.

After that everything happened so fast I don't remember much details apart from I had a sharp pain and my body started pushing. I was rushed into a private room and my the time I rolled on to the bed with one push he was out. My fiance was devastated and so was I, he had only reached the hospital escalators. I had a birth plan and he wanted to cut the cord but he missed it all. He was allowed back in to see me and our son while the midwives started cleaning the room for somebody else.

I felt we were rushed out the room and then told we could stay in another room for 4 hours which would have been 2 am and then take him home even though we had no car seat on us. I refused and the midwife was quite insistent on us leaving. I refused to take my son home in what would have had to be a taxi at that time as family aren't local and have no car seat. With a huff we were told I could go home but my fiance was quite nastily told he had to leave after only holding his son for 10 mins and missing the birth. I did ask for help breastfeeding as it was offered to my the first time round and it didn't go well so I hoped to get the bond in right away. The midwife told me its not important at this stage and she had other things to do.

I was admitted up to the ward then where I found the staff were surprisingly helpful and lovely. I asked for help and the lovely midwife in shift managed to help me and my son bond and I successfully breastfed him. She even came to help me when he wouldn't settle by walking him up and down the ward so I could try and sleep. I left the hospital the day after with very mixed opinions.

I understand there are good and bad experiences in every hospital and I was unlucky and also fortunate enough to experience both.

I feel that when the standard if service is bad it's really bad but then those few lovely midwives make up for it all. I will never EVER forget my experience with my son being made to feel like a nuisance just for being in labour and having no pain relief regardless of my pelvic problems, then my fiance missing the birth of our son but then I will never forget the amazing magical experience I had with my first.

I'm unsure if I will be returning to this hospital again but thought I'd share my story for others unsure of their decision.

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Responses

Response from Department of Health

Dear Mamitee,

I am sorry to hear about your experience at Manor Hospital for your second child.

Should you wish to complain, I recommend that you contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) for Mnaor Hospital in the first instance to take your complaint directly to the point of care, but you may also wish to register your experience with Healthwatch England. Healthwatch England is the new consumer champion for health and social care which has a role in gathering people’s views on their local health and care services to influence and challenge how they are provided. You can find your local healthwatch on the following link:

http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/

You may also wish to use the NHS Constitution to support your correspondence with these organisations. The NHS Constitution can be found on the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/170656/NHS_Constitution.pdf

And it has a supporting handbook of explanatory notes which can be found on the following link:

http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Documents/2013/handbook-to-the-nhs-constitution.pdf

In response to your comment about your partner missing the birth, I would like to draw your attention to page 3 of the NHS Constitution which outlines the principles that guide the NHS in all that it does, in particular::

Prinicple 4 'The NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does. It should support individuals to promote and manage their own health. NHS services must reflect, and should be coordinated around and tailored to, the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment.'

I hope that this information proves useful for you,

NHS Constitution Team

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Response from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Hello Marnitee,

Thank you for taking the time to post a comment, we're sorry to read about your experience at the Trust. Hopefully you've been able to speak to our Patient Relations Team. If not, please get in touch on 01922 656463.

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