"Maternity Unit Reception"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

Having received the wonderful news at 7a.m that we had a new grandson, our son, the father, suggested that my wife and I visited mother and baby at 10a.m. Not being familiar with the workings at Maternity, whilst I noticed a button at the side of the entrance doors, a young man who we were following held the door open for us so we went straight through as we could see the reception desk ahead. Before we reached the desk,the woman manning it shouted out in a most aggressive tone, that this was a secure unit, we should have pressed the button, and that visiting was from 4 to 7.only. I told here politely that we had been given the impression that they could be discharged before 4.This woman reluctantly said that we must ask the next of kin to come out and we could then see mother and baby one at a time. She had clearly incorrectly assumed that we were with the young man who held the door open for us. Only then did she ask who we had come to see. When we told her, she looked her up and ,realised that she was in a birthing suite and she then confirmed that there were no visiting restrictions and it was therefore in order to go through. This woman's unfortunate demeanour is entirely unsuitable for this position, She needs reminding that this should be a joyful place. I appreciate that she has a job to do but,do we,a pair of pensioners,really look like potential child snatchers? Her attitude would be more appropriate for the gate house at Wormwood Scrubs!

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing us feedback and I do apologise for the way you were spoken to - this must have been very distressing for you both. I will ensure the feedback is raised with reception staff - we appreciate feedback as an opportunity to improve the experiences for our patients and their friends and families.

I hope you are enjoying your new grandson.

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