"It was like the moment my baby was removed I became insignificant as the job was done"

About: Wishaw General Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I must note that care pre labour and during labour was very good the consultant (Dr Willocks) and the midwife (Ashley) were especially notable for their performance. I will make one negative remark in that the registrar Dr delivered my baby whilst chewing gum.

When my baby was born, the midwife correctly contacted neonatal as he had breathing issues. From this point on my care was really poor. It was like the moment my baby was removed I became insignificant as the job was done. I waited on the labour bed with no baby for 4 hours for pain relief. I had no visit from anyone during this period other than a lady who cleared up the room and removed the IV points from my hands. To be fair the midwife did pop her head in a couple of times telling me they were so busy and she needed to make my notes for neonatal the priority to allow them to get the whole picture (understandable).

From this point onwards it simply got worse, I began visiting the nursery who were fantastic with me and still are even after 4 days. Unfortunately communication between the nursery and ward 23 doesn't exist.

I spent all day and night on my own other than the standard 5 min obs round or cleaner/ dinner lady. This is the most difficult time of my life, a baby in intensive care whilst being isolated in a room with no TV (aerial wires have been stolen), no one with time to check on me, ward staff asking me how my baby is, rather than telling me what's going on, no one with time to notice the struggle of a mother with a child removed.

In my opinion the issue at ward 23 is 2 fold,

The first - staff act as though their job is to deliver a baby safely and discharge patients with children in a timely manner whilst ticking all the boxes. I believe at the point my baby was taken to neonatal the effectiveness of ward 23 fails as they are not targeted on how to react when it goes wrong, therefore continue with the day job. (Staff are focused towards the targets as these take over from common sense). A mother with a child in neonatal has different needs. I know as I have 2 other kids who were born healthy.

The 2nd point is general midwife behaviour post labour (I note the comparison against Larbert and Stirling maternity units). Post labour care felt like box ticking in terms of physical checks which are measurable i.e. Blood pressure etc. There is no conversation about mental state, no conversation about baby in neonatal etc. My husband expressed concern to a senior midwife about the risk of post natal depression. He was reassured and told they would check on me. At no point did anyone ever discuss how I was feeling. In fairness they moved me from the labour room on day 2 at 11pm into a private room which was helpful apart from the fact a random midwife made me feel like a nuisance and barged in picked up my bags, flowers etc and stated that if I wanted to move then I better come right now. Moreover, each check was done by someone different so I never knew anyone and they didn't know me or my circumstances so I had to explain to each person during checks.

I am not a person who normally complains but in this instance I am deeply saddened by both my circumstance and that a maternity unit can be so clinical removing all emotional contact post delivery. When I discussed my feelings with a member of staff, she sat on my bed and cried with me as she genuinely felt for my situation whilst being unable to help as more senior staff prevented her from helping as their priorities were different.

1 more point to include, I was asked to sign paperwork stating I was comfortable bathing, feeding, changing baby etc. I signed this as I was fed up with the dire care and thought this to just be the icing on the cake. I have 2 other children one delivered in Larbert the other in Stirling. The care at both was fantastic and simply included the element of emotional connection, time for the patient post delivery and consistency of staff i.e. I had 1-3 midwife only and they were their to support me.

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Response from Marion Mark, Director of Hospital Services, Wishaw General Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Marion Mark

Dear Emzi118

Thank you for contacting us, I am extremely sorry to hear that parts of your care from our staff in Ward 23 was less than the standard of service that we aim to provide especially as this was an extremely emotional and worrying time for you.

You have informed us of several aspects of your care where continuity of care, compassion and basic communication was poor and this is unacceptable and I apologise for this.

We would like the opportunity to discuss this matter with you further and I would encourage you please to contact our Patient Affairs Manager Yvonne Ross Tel: 01698 366558 to provide your details to arrange a meeting and to allow me to fully investigate your time at Wishaw General Hospital.

We thank you for also taking the time to inform us of the positive aspects of your stay with us and again I apologise for the poor experiences you have had at Wishaw General.



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