"Antenatal Unit - no privacy, overcrowded, long..."

About: East Surrey Hospital

Allow around 30-40 minutes to find a car park in the Hospital parking. There's usually a queue of cars to get in that goes all the way to the roundabout outside the hospital. People are advised to use the car park at the golf course adjacent to the hospital. However, to get to this one, you still need to join the queue of cars as it's past the Hospital's carpark. Be prepared for another very long wait. Even if you have an appointment, you will be waiting for around 1.5-2 hours to be seen. There is limited seating and partners are requested to give up their seats to patients, so if you're husband is coming with you, make sure he's prepared to be on his feet for a very long time. There are two chairs at the waiting area where patients are called to and the midwive measures your blood pressure and tests your urine and asks how you are feeling. This is in the middle of the waiting area, with no screen division or privacy whatsoever. In Hillingdon and also in Wexham, I was always called into a consultation room were I could talk to the midwive in private and she took her time to examine me, including feeling my tummy and listening to the heartbeat of the baby. Don't expect that in East Surrey... Dr consultations only last about 3 minutes with minimal info and explanation given. Not the level of care you would expect. My advice is avoid East Surrey Hospital. Try Guildford or Epsom instead.

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Responses

Response from Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ben Mearns

Dear Anonymous

Thank you very much for being so honest about your poor experience. It sounds like the service was well below that you would like to have and I will pass you comments on to the Chief of Women & Children's Health for their attention.

The car park is due to be expanded in the near future which should assist with parking, but it clearly is difficult at present. The last thing you want is to be stuck ina queue when you need to get to the appointment.

I will pass this on striaght away and thanks for letting us know.

Dr Ben Mearns

Clinical Lead for Acute & Elderly Medicine

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Anonymous

I am also sorry that you had a poor experience in the Ante-Natal clinic. Ben has passed your comments to the senior clinician in the Women and Children's Health and I am sure they will respond very soon.

As the Director responsible for the Estate including car parking I just wanted to add some more details about the car parking.

I am very sorry that so many of our patients are experiencing queues such as you describe but we are going to be doing something about it. We have planning permission for another 300 spaces and work will start very soon on the first phase of this and we plan to open another 80 spaces for patients by the end of April at the latest. This will help with the problem you encounter and as we add the next two phases that will make a very significant difference.

I hope that this shows that we are aware of the problem you describe and I will personally ensure it is resolved in the shortest timescale possible.

Regards

Ian

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Response from Bill Kilvington, Assistant Director for Women and Children's, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Anonymous,

I am very sorry for the poor experience you had recently in the antenatal clinic. Unfortunately you were seen on a particularly busy day and I have to agree that the way you were treated is not acceptable.

We are currently restricted for space, but we are looking at a way of moving some of the clinics as part of the Trust's outpatients strategy. Unfortunately, this will require a building scheme so is not going to happen immediately.

However, there is no reason why the blood pressure checks take place in the main waiting room and the Head of Midwifery has spoken to the staff to ensure this does not happen in the future. I have also fed back to the doctors about your poor experience and lack of explanations.

If you feel that there are aspects of your care that you would like to discuss more fully, please let me know so I can arrange for you to meet with your midwife to ensure you have the time to discuss any concerns.

I apologise again for your poor experience. I can be contacted via my secretary on 01737 231813

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