"Private room at Northampton Hospital would cost us £70 a night"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

(as a relative),

My partner is due to give birth in January. We called Northampton General Hospital to book a private room for her as this is her first baby (I have 2 others). I explained that she is Mexican, knows nobody in the UK and is a little confused by the procedures which are completely different from Mexico. As such, a private room would make the entire process far less stressful.

We were told that the hospital will charge us £70 a night for this as it is considered 'over and above' normal service! Aside from the fact that individual care should be the minimum level of care provided, I feel a charge of £70 is nothing more than robbery. In my opinion, no additional facilities are provided to justify such a charge. Most hotels in Northampton do not charge this as a standard room rate.

In addition to this, we have also been told that antenatal classes have been dropped due to a lack of staff! I think this is a must for new mothers. I feel that if the Trust does not have enough permanent staff to provide the basic level of care that they are contracted to do, they should employ agency staff. Not providing their statutory obligations is simply not an option.

We haven't had the service from Northampton NHS Trust but already I feel we have been badly let down by a poor quality service, which we believe is not fit for purpose. You may argue that we can 'go private'. Unfortunately this isn't an option either as there are no private maternity facilities in Northampton. Therefore we feel we do not have any choice regarding our local maternity services. I think this could explain why the trust feel they can charge patients extra, as the choice is them or nothing.

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