"Mixed feedback re maternity provision"

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

Prior to the birth of my daughter at the PRU I had several appointments with consultants and weekly appointments with midwives from the Bromley 1 team who were all brilliant. My daughter was born by elective Caesarian section and I received fantastic care prior to and during the section - everything was clearly explained to me by the most wonderful anaesthetist and during the section she was even more amazing - she explained what was happening, sorted out pain relief immediately when required and ensured I was calm. In fact, all staff in Theatre were wonderful and deserve the highest praise. Unfortunately, once on the ward care deteriorated largely because it is very apparent that there are not enough staff/midwives to care for all the women and babies. In addition there is a total obsession with breastfeeding to the exclusion of women like me who were formula feeding! On day 2 I was ignored and received little care/attention! My daughter was examined by a paediatrician and discharged. Thirty minutes later another paediatrician turned up to examine our daughter and we explained she had already been seen and discharged! I was then examined by a doctor (and 3 medical students) and discharged into the care of the midwives but the Doctor failed to write this in my notes. I asked the midwife in charge of the ward if I could be discharged to go home. She said I could not because I had not been seen by the doctor but I explained that I had and thankfully she accepted this but said I had to have a blood test to check iron levels before discharge. She said she would request the blood test results were urgent (which she did) so I could go home. Unfortunately due to shift changes the next midwife refused to believe I had seen a doctor and been discharged to the midwives and stated I had to stay another night! No way - it was so noisy in the ward - I'd had no sleep and due to the obsession with breastfeeding there were 2 women on the ward who had had very difficult long labours and their babies were struggling to breastfeed! The babies were starving and screaming and a series of midwives were trying to get the exhausted women to breastfeed - it was inhumane! I insisted on going home and had a huge row with the midwife who said as I hadn't seen a doctor I would have to remain in hospital! I said" no way I'm going" to which she replied "are you going to go against medical advice?" I stated that I would discharge myself and did not consider it was against medical advice as I had been discharged by the doctor who through no fault of mine had not documented this in my notes! I made the best decision discharging myself for both my health and sanity! The following day I was visited by the community midwife who listened sympathetically to my reasons for discharging myself and said she understood and could see I had done what was best for me! Again I received excellent care from the Bromley 1 team!

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