"Poor antenatal unit , poor blood test centre staff"

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

I never felt the antenatal unit treated pregnant women with any sense of emergency. My wife been there twice. Not to say the waiting time were extremely long, but the fact was the midwives were quite inexperienced (though they were friendly). We would expect seeing a doctor instead of midwife in the emergency unit. Who bare the responsibility if the midwife overlooked the symptoms? I saw lots of pregnant women frowned while they were waiting, and wondered why so many midwives sat there chatting or doing paper work instead of actually seeing us. If St thomas treated that as an emergency unit, then each pregnant woman in the unit should be seen by a doctor accompanied by the midwife. I saw similar comments about the waiting time and the dissatisfaction of the unit. i saw the hospital response but I don't think much has improved. I think the hospital should monitor each patient's waiting time and each session should be done by a doctor and a midwife. My wife was given an orange maternity record book , which had the doctor's name written on it. But up till now, she still haven't got a chance to see him. I think the doctor (as assigned to each pregnant woman) should meet the pregnant women who are planning to give birth in your hospital (at least once) before delivery to ensure safety and eliminate any risk that might arise at the later stage of pregnancy. My wife done my blood test at ground floor blood test centre and it's worst of all. First the inexperienced trainee couldn't find her blood vessels, when she found it that was the wrong one so the blood stops coming out after 5 seconds. Then her senior did it again, but this time left her a painful bruise which was larger than a pound coin. I don't think I would recommend the maternity service at St Thomas.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from St Thomas' Hospital

The Matron for ADU has looked into the issues raised in your comments and provided the following response: ‘I am very sorry to hear that you and your wife had an unhappy experience at the Day Assessment (Antenatal) Unit. The Day Assessment Unit is an emergency unit. Every woman is assessed by a midwife on arrival to assess the level of her clinical (health) needs. All midwives recruited in ADU are experienced professionals, who are supported by senior midwifes and a doctor The midwives refer patients to the doctor where necessary, following clear guidelines to accommodate different situations and health conditions. You noted that midwives sit at the desk to check results and write their notes. This is the only available space to them for this purpose and it allows them to be accessible to the patients they are monitoring. Documentation is an important part of the midwives’ role: It provides evidence of the patient’s health condition and treatment and is a means of communicating with other health professionals who are involved with the patient’s care. There are a limited numbers of beds in ADU, and some women need a monitoring of the fetal heart for at least 30 minutes before being discharged (leaving the unit). This does increase the time taken to be treated in ADU, but the level of monitoring is necessary to assess fetal wellbeing in some situations. While midwives are sitting at the desk, they are preparing patients for treatment or preparing them to leave the unit safely. There are protocols in place to deal with major emergencies, in which all necessary staff would stop what they were doing to attend to the woman in need. ADU can see up to 80 women a day with only 4 midwives and a limited amount of space. The environment is similar to that of an A&E department, in that the service cannot predict the number of people who will need to be seen each day. All non-urgent issues should be dealt with within the community by the community midwife or the GP. The name on the orange note is the link consultant. Not all pregnant women would meet the consultant, where there is no history of problems or when no complications develop. If your wife has not been referred to her link consultant, that is because her midwifery team (community midwives) have not identified any complications. However, your wife can discuss this with her team and make an appointment with her link consultant for review if she believes there is a need. I hope that this response helps you and your wife to understand the workings of the ADU. Please do ask to speak to one of the senior midwives next time if you need more explanation or assistance.’

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful