"Awful Experience!"

About: William Harvey Hospital

I was reluctantly admitted to the maternity unit as I was nearly 2 weeks overdue and was to be induced. I wanted a home birth. The nurses on the maternity unit were nice, but they didn’t have time to really care for anyone as there were too busy running around which seems to be the case with all NHS hospitals. I have a fear of hospitals due to bad past experiences and felt really scared and vulnerable, this was added to my notes thanks to my midwife, however no one made an attempt to calm or reassure me. I was induced for 2 days and with nothing happening, I was told at around 11pm to prepare myself for a C-Section in the morning. I sat up all night worrying about the operation and had so many questions, but no one to answer them. My husband went home and researched C-sections and came back to the hospital with all the information which we read through the night together. Due to my fear of hospitals my husband stayed with me over night, but was never offered a pillow, blanket and wasn’t even allowed a drink, as it was for patients only apparently. We had decided we would go ahead with the C-section as it was the best option, only to be told by different doctors in the morning that they were going to carry on inducing me for another day. At this point I started to become very upset and told them that we had made a decision the C-section was to go ahead today and we hadn’t taken the decision lightly. I was also concerned that because my baby wasn’t coming naturally that something was wrong and I wanted him out and healthy and didn’t want to risk an emergency C-section. I was emotionally and physically exhausted. The doctors told us they would not preform the C-section and we had to find someone else to do it, they spent hours arguing with us which was very stressful and upsetting. Luckily a kind nurse gave us some information regarding our right to request for a C-section and we stuck to our decision. After 4 hours of arguing and trying to frighten us with the risks and complete refusal the same doctors then decided they couldn’t change our mind and went ahead with the C-Section. My baby was large but healthy and I was told that it wouldn’t have been possible to have him naturally and I would need to have C-sections in the future should I want any more children. The aftercare ward wasn’t much better either, my husband slept on the floor again with no pillow or blanket. We asked for a private room and thank god my husband was there with me because the nurses certainly were not, other than to change my blood soaked pads, I never saw them. I discharged myself the day after. Having a baby is supposed to be a wonderful experience and for me it was a nightmare, having to go into this hospital is the only reason I will never have any more children. Please note this review relates to the hospital ward not the midwife led unit.

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

Thank you for your feedback, I am really sorry to read about your experience. Please do email me and I can arrange for you to talk with our Head of Midwifery about your experience. My email address is Julie.pearce1@nhs.net. I do hope all is going well now that you are at home and you are enjoying your new baby son.

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