"I was on a foetal heart monitor for 8 hours"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Maternity unit

(as the patient),

Following a few visits to maternity triage the doc decided to book me in for an induction, the morning before my due date as this was my 3rd child and induction I knew what to expect my partner dropped me off and was going to return later on in the afternoon once the kids had been collected from school and dropped off at parents, I was put in a side room which I must say made me feel a bit isolated and lonely, I was given a pessary and put on foetal heart monitor around 12pm, unbelievably I was kept on that monitor for 8 whole hours! Meaning I was confined to my bed it was so uncomfortable, the baby's heart rate was fast so had to be monitored but every time the doctor said she would give it more time then review what to do, I asked a few nurses if I could come off it but they said not without docs say so but she was in surgery etc eventually I got upset and I Said "I need to stretch my legs! I've been on this for 8 hours" so the nurse let me have a wander around outside for fresh air, then I went back on the monitor on my return, the doc came to see me at around 11pm luckily she was saved from making a decision as, my waters broke and had meconium and I was taken to the labour ward the care there was fantastic as was the aftercare however I think the doctor should have handled my situation better.

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Response from Gail Bell, Deputy Head of Midwifery, Women and Children, NHS Forth Valley

Congratulations on your new baby. I hope you are both well.

I am glad that your care during labour and after the birth was good and I will let staff know.

I am however sorry to hear that the early part of your care in the ward did not go well. I am hopeful that I can address your concerns in general terms but if you would like me to look in to your care in more detail I am happy to do so but would need some more information from you which you can send to the email below.

Most of the rooms in ward 8 are single rooms and we try to use these for antenatal patients to provide them with some privacy with their partner. I am unsure if there would have been a bed in the 4 bed area at the time you were admitted but I will now ensure that staff make a point of asking if mums are happy to be in a single room.

It is normal to monitor baby as part of the induction procedure. Although I can’t say for certain as I do not have your details in general if a baby is not overly happy the monitor will be on for a longer period of time. I am sorry that the Doctor was not available to review the tracing, however being confined to a bed for eight hours is not appropriate and I have asked that the midwifery staff consider this particular aspect of care and come up with a solution to ensure this does not happen again. I am truly sorry for any discomfort you had.

Once again congratulations and best wishes to you and your family.

(My email is gailbell@nhs.net if required.)

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