"The standard of care from start ..."

About: Derriford Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

The standard of care from start to finish for my wife was outstanding, she was 27 weeks into the pregnancy with our baby and was having discomfort, my sister who had previously had two children in Derriford suggested she phoned the delivery ward even though we thought it might be bad indigestion, the nurse asked us to go in anyway to be checked out. As soon as we arrived and they had taken her blood pressure it became all too obvious to the staff that there was a serious problem her blood pressure was dangerously high, immediatly she was placed into her own room and a team of nurses and doctors spent the next four hours calming two very scared individuals whilst trying to get to the root of the problem. Eventually after a lot of medication numerous blood tests etc her pressure started to drop although still in the high category we were informed that it was manageable. What was initially a call about indigestion turned out to be more serious and we ended up staying in hospital for over two weeks, we lived in Swindon and were down visiting family so along way from home, as the pregnancy was not that far along we did not have any of the stuff we would normally have had for the birth, not that this mattered as through out the week the nursing staff on that ward were nothing short of brilliant in giving advice helping obtain toothbrushes etc only little things but they mattered., they gave us enough time for my wife to reach 28 weeks and help give my son the best chance available. Whilst carrying out checks through out the week it was disclosed to us that my wife had other underlying conditions nothing was carried out by the doctors until they were sure that we had as much information as possible even if this meant asking the same question overe and over again.

What could be improved

Four days into our stay my wife was moved to the Argyle ward in my opinion there are not enough nurses on this ward and thoses that are there could not know each individual case, it was also made obvious those who buzzed loudest longest and hardest were seen above those who just got on with it, during our time here my wife started to get the same feelings of discomfort when the nurse eventually came after three times of asking and I had insisted she asked if my wife had problems with high blood pressure when we gave her the figures she smiled as though that could not be the case by this time I was becoming a blood pressure expert it also did not help that we had been eating a large bucket of kfc ( the food in hospital was ok but living on it for a week was not ideal ) which to the nurse pointed to indigestion once though she had done her own test it was back down to delivery within 5 mins !! also the rooms on the delivery ward were quite gloomy but to be fair you dont normally spend as much time as we did down there.

Anything else?

My son was born 7/11/08 weighing 2lb 2 oz and was then transferred to the NICU ward for another 5 weeks again until you are there you dont realise the dedication and hard work that the nurses and doctors carry out when we visited there was always a nurse on hand who came to us with a daily update was always clean and although in a scary environment to us everything was done to rest our fears, after 5 weeks my son was subsequently transferred back home to Swindon the doctor that travelled with him ( sorry cant remember your name was outstanding ) phoning us at the start in the middle and at the end of the journey. my son had a further 7 weeks in hospital before we finally got him home safe and sound now weighing a health 7lb 9oz as good as Swindon was it did not have a patch on Derriford. Me and my wife will be forever indebted to all the members of staff that we dealt with and those behind the scenes to many to mention by name, the wards we visited were nothing short of outstanding and has given me a new found respect for the NHS and its hard working employees.

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