"Some great individuals but no coordination or..."

About: North Middlesex Hospital

Whilst we must acknowledge the amazing efforts and advice of some of the midwives, doctors and consultants at nmuh, on the whole the service is badly staffed, coordinated and managed. The result for us was a frustrating, worrying and ultimately traumatic experience. Throughout my pregnancy I was called in for additional tests and scans because of concerns over the well being of our baby - something we should be grateful for. But it took several months before we found anyone who would explain why we were being subjected to additional tests and - with only one notable exception - it was clear that whilst we were being sent for these extra tests, no one was actually reviewing and evaluating the results. On one occasion a midwife actually said that they did not want to tell us why because that would only worry us and put my blood pressure up! Thankfully the power of Google and our own sheer bloody mindedness finally yielded some answers but even then we were continually subjected to wildly conflicting advice. In one week in particular I was told that I needed a c section, then booked in for an induction and then told by another professional (on my way into the induction) that I'd been given poor advice and that I did need the c section. Part of the issue is that we never saw the same doctor, consultant or midwife twice, despite having up to 3 appointments per week at one point, and all the people we saw disagreed with previous advice we had been given. Despite having been allocated a consultant it was clear that no one actually had overall oversight for our 'case'. Again part of the problem here is poor management and inadequate staffing. I won't even go into the regular two hour waits for appointments etc. For me a bigger issue is that in almost every appointment staff were moaning about the poor management and staffing at the hospital - and we were in the midst of being given bad news on one appointment when our doctor was pulled away by some administrator to talk about their pay packet. This just screams out that this hospital is being run by people with little understanding of the service they are supposed to provide. I should say at this point that we did try to make complaints but many weeks have passed and I never heard back from the supervisor of midwives (who guarantees to respond within 5 days) and most of the numbers provided to patients are rarely answered or don't even work. The final points for me relates to the c section itself. We arrived at 8am for a procedure scheduled at 9.30. We finally made it into theatre in the early afternoon but having been kept in a cold room all morning without any means of hydration meant it took 12 attempts to get a cannula into me... I won't go into the car crash that proceeded from there, other than to say that almost none of my wishes regarding birth plan were even acknowledged and certainly were not accommodated. I am delighted to say that despite all I did deliver a beautiful and healthy baby boy

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

So sorry to hear that you had conflicting messages given to you. All patients have the right to ask staff questions and if when asking questions you are not happy with the response you have the right to talk to a consultant. It is important throughout pregnancy all pregnant mums have all their questions answered fully. I am the Head of Midwifery, g.slevin@nhs.net and would welcome any further feedback you wish to send me.

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