"I went into The Royal Free Hospital ..."

About: Royal Free Hospital

(as the patient),

What could be improved

I went into The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London while in labour with my 2nd baby. He was 2 weeks overdue but no-one had seemed bothered about this and it was only through me enquiring and researching that I had organised an induction. In the end I didn't need it as I went into labour the night before. No-one had monitored me in the two weeks I was overdue and nobody seemed to be particulary interested. I had attended waterbirth workshops and intended to have a waterbirth in the birthing centre.My BP was a bit high and I was borderline as to whether I could go to the birthing centre or go to the regular labour ward.I was allowed to go to the b.centre but the pool was occupied. I was introduced to my midwife and my heart sank.She didn't even look at me or say hello.She looked annoyed and told me she wasn't happy about me being in the birthing centre-as if I was to blame.She didn't communicate at all. She just put me on a baby monitor (I had wanted to have an active birth) and left. She popped back in rarely and checked me, tutting and muttering to herself. She kept telling me I shouldn't be in there.I felt terrible. My husband was really angry but there was no-one to complain to, not even on reception.We thought about asking to change midwives, but then were worried that our care might be compromised if there was no-one to change with, as the angry midwife might be even angrier! I started pushing by myself and shouted to my husband to go and find (yes, find) the midwife. She walked in and my waters broke spectacularly across the room, filled with meconium. "Meconium" she shouted triumphantly, as though she had proved a point, and left the room! A few minutes later a crash team entered and took over. They were brilliant and my baby got his head stuck and also had shoulder distocia.The midwife still hadn't spoken one kind word to me.I was left by myself in a chair all night.Postnatal ward was a disgrace too.I now have PND and i'm angry about my treatment at RFH

Anything else?

The antenatal care was a joke and no-one knew which patients were coming or going. The appointment system was chaotic.No-one kept an eye on me when I was 2 weeks overdue. I could have had the baby at home and I don't think anyone would have followed it up.The postnatal ward staff were grumpy and scarce. I was left in my bed to do my own thing for the whole 3 days I was there. I couldn't wait to leave.I would not have another baby there.

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Responses

Response from Royal Free Hospital

We're sorry you had a disappointing experience when your second child was born. If you contact our PALS office (details supplied by FC), they will follow up your comments about the delivery and ante natal appointments.

We wish you and your family all the best for the future.

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