Nursing staff competency is hit and miss. There are a few exceptional nurses, but there are also some who do not do their jobs properly and don't seem to care either. Communication errors are commonplace. Consequently, counselling from nursing staff varies from excellent to useless. Despite having cleaners in every morning, communal flooring areas can get very dirty very quickly. Communal bathrooms are disgusting. At times I could not believe I was on an all female ward because of the state that facilities were left in at times. Due to health and safety regulations, thin foam mattresses with plastic duvets are provided, so don't expect a decent night's sleep (which is essential in mental health recovery). Rooms are small and basic but do the job (think Travelodge without the ensuite bathroom). Despite there being plenty of talk about care plans and weekly ward round meetings, I felt that I was kept in the dark for a long time regarding my official diagnosis. A diagnosis which, my family mentioned before I was admitted to the MBU, but was fobbed off (and consequently I was given the wrong medication which may have had an adverse effect on my mental health). Got the feeling that my (albeit welcome) surprise and sudden discharge was due to another patient waiting to be admitted. The food is average, but I avoided food which seemed to be rehashed from the day before's leftovers. Nursery staff were very good and I would not hesitate to recommend their abilities with looking after babies exceedingly well.

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Response from Bill Berry, Patient Experience Manager, Patient Public Involvement Team Organisation and Community Directorate, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear anonymous

My apology for the delay in responding but I have not been at work for a time following a family bereavement.

The Mother and Baby team have looked at your post and have sent me a response. I am posting it on their behalf and hope it addresses the issues you have raised, I and I know the team would be happy to talk with you if you wanted to discuss the matter further.

Thank you for your comments regarding the Mother and Baby Unit. We are very sorry to hear you have concerns regarding the care given by the Multi-Disciplinary Team on the Mother and Baby Unit. The unit has always strived to offer the best possible care and work in partnership with the service users to reach the best possible outcome for discharge.

The first issue raised is in regards to the nursing staff. We would like to assure you that we have a well-established nursing team with staff fully qualified in Mental Health Nursing and specialist Perinatal nursing care. Following this complaint we have audited our electronic notes and found that patients are spending time with their allocated nurse each shift. We would like to reassure you that all nursing staffs are fully aware and adhere to protected therapeutic time during the working shift. We hold a community meeting on a weekly basis which is open to all service users in order to raise concerns regarding their care or the unit environment. All concerns are taking seriously and actions are taken as a priority. The ward manager also runs an open door policy to her office and service users are able to approach at any time throughout the day to discuss concerns.

The second issue is regarding the ward environment and cleanliness. The domestics operate on a rota and are on the unit from 7am-7pm. Out of working hours there is an on call system that staff can contact if there is a need for urgent attention. The domestic supervisor visits the unit a couple of times per week to monitor the cleaning and the presentation of the unit and regularly audits the unit. Any action plans regarding the unit is discussed with the ward manager and ward administrator. We have taken on board your comments and we have passed these on to the domestic manager. We would like to assure you that we will take every step to ensure that the unit achieves the highest levels of cleanliness.

The third issue is regarding the mattresses. The Trust has named stockists for ordering of mattresses and beds and the ones used on the unit adhere to trust standards as well as Health and Safety Policies.

The fourth issue raised is in regards to diagnosis and treatment. We are very sorry you have had to raise this as a concern during your admission. We would like to reassure you that the medical team alongside the Multi-Disciplinary Team assess the services user for a prolonged period before being able to formally diagnose. Although service users may have had a previous diagnosis the Mother and Baby Unit team assess the current presentation and this, at times, can result in a change of diagnosis.

With regards to medication the medical team will proactively seek the views of the service users on the types of medication that will help their mental state (and where appropriate involve the Next of Kin in these discussions). We monitor closely for any adverse effects of medication over 24 hours as well as assessing the services user’s responses to medication. At times medication may be changed if deemed not to be successful in treating symptoms or if adverse effects are observed/reported and this will always be done in conjunction with the service user.


Bill Berry

Service Improvement Manager

Patient Public Involvement Team

Directorate of Organisation and Community

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Maudsley Hospital

Denmark Hill



M: 07825180472

E: bill.berry@slam.nhs.uk

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