"Long waiting times at the Jessop Wing, Sheffield"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I have attended the Jessop Wing 5 times during this, my second pregnancy, and each time I have been there around two to three hours.

On my first visit in February, I was referred by my GP at just 5 weeks pregnant - but I was referred due to having an underactive thyroid gland; my GP assured me that this can cause problems and Jessops would want to book me in asap. However, when I attended for my appointments, I was waiting around and then made to feel like I was wasting everyone's time by being there - even though I had not referred myself, I was being a good docile little mummy doing what my GP told me.

My second contact, for my 12 week scan and endocrinology and obstetrics ante natal clinics, I was waiting almost an hour for my scan despite having one of the first available appointments in the morning (9 am), then was left waiting around in ante natal clinic for over an hour before being seen, then on being seen by one consultant, I was left in the consulting room waiting to see the next consultant for so long I had to check that they'd not just forgotten I was in there.

My appointment was for 9 am, I did not get out of there until after 1pm. Fortunately my 2 year old was at my parents' house - had I arranged paid, time-limited childcare such as nursery, I would have had to leave to collect her without being seen, or have had to have her with me and been so busy dealing with a bored stroppy toddler that I could not listen to the information given me by the doctors and midwives.

At my 20 week appointment, I was again booked in for a scan at 9am followed by ante natal clinics and did not leave until gone 12.30 with all the waiting and hanging around.

A few weeks ago I was referred to the physio by my midwife after experiencing symphisis pubic dysfunction/pelvic girdle pain. My appointment was at 11 am. I was waiting over an hour, I thought nothing of it, based on my previous experience. At 12.20 I looked around and noticed the waiting room was beginning to empty and that people who had arrived after me were leaving after being seen (bear in mind that I was specifically attending clinic for a very painful and uncomfortable condition and was left all this time).

At 12.30 I approached the desk, and asked what had been going on (I had been reluctant to do this previously due to all the signs up about 'we are experiencing delays please be patient etc etc' and I want to be respectful to people's time) - only to be told that the physio had forgotten to see me and had gone to another clinic. She had to be called back; I was in tears by now due to being in a lot of pain, hormonal, hungry and thirsty. The physio then rushed me hurriedly through her spiel; I felt like I had no opportunity to ask any questions and learnt nothing more than I would have googling SPD.

My latest (and hopefully last) experience of the Jessops outpatients wing was today; I had a scan to check my low lying placenta had moved, plus clinic attendance; my appointment was for 10am. I was not scanned until 10.40 am, then was left hanging around clinic as usual for a couple of hours - many other women were experiencing the same. I did not leave until gone 1pm again.

Like the other person to share their story (very similar, despite taking place three years ago, which suggest that no one is particularly interested in improving matters) I found the actual labour ward on Jessops to be wonderful, and I could not speak more highly of the care I had there. But the ante natal and scanning clinics constantly seem to be overbooked, delayed, no one knows how long anything will take, staff seem to be allocated in a not very time efficient way. It is not acceptable, and nowhere else within the NHS are so many patients so appallingly treated so consistently.

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