"Went in for a false alarm and never coming back"

About: Kettering General Hospital

This is our first baby and my wife and I have been really preparing for this day to go well. The fact that they didn't have a tour offered was raising some alarm bells for me but we still chose to go nonetheless - many people we knew gave birth there after all. We came in with my wife in early labor and was made to go home. Nothing much there initially. After having had time to process how the whole morning went, couple of things became clear: - while the midwives were OK afterwards, the person who received us is by far the rudest, most condescending, patronizing person we've ever met. They wore a light colored shirt so we're sure they were not a midwife. Our community midwife said they may have been the warden. For a joyous occasion like this, we needed every ounce of positivity and they certainly are not a good start. - my wife had to be examined and while the midwife was nice, I can say they were very rough. My wife had gone through some real pains with the early contractions but I never saw her in so much pain while being examined. My wife never had a pleasant experience with these things, but her community midwife always did a great job at making her comfortable. If she's had that rough hands work on her while she's in early labor, not sure if the midwives will do any better when she's actually in so much pain - we also overheard a lady in the next bed, who's in so much pain and had been suffering for 7 long hours. She's apparently not being given enough pain relief even though she and her partner have been requesting several times. I'm not even sure how my wife will deal with the pain but knowing how she can be treated like that made us feel uneasy - finally, after seeing all that the ward has to offer - complete lack of privacy, cramped beds, old and dingy facilities, disrespectful staff, and an overall sense of lack of care, I don't really understand how this facility can get 4 star ratings! My wife is now slowly getting more frequent contractions and moving to another hospital. Really great that her community midwife is able to sort this out for us.

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you for your comments, it is always helpful for us as an Organisation to receive feedback from those who access our services. I would really like to apologise for the experience you report having here at the Maternity Unit. It is disappointing to all the team that anyone should leave our department feeling as you and you wife have done. We do provide a virtual tour, which can be accessed online via www.youtube.com which you should have been signposted to. If you find this doesn’t answer all your questions, your community team will also answer questions, and if required, support you in accessing the Unit for a personal tour. We fully appreciate that the décor of the building is outdated. Currently we are undertaking refurbishments of all our Maternity ward areas and bathrooms. We are also undertaking an extension to the front of the Unit to improve our facilities. I would very much like to investigate the issues you raised in more depth so that I can take any necessary action and would be grateful if you could contact me on 01536 491594 to provide me with your wifes details and admission date so that I might review who was involved in her care more fully. I will be sharing your comments with the team at our team meetings, as it is important for us all to reflect on your feedback. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us and I do hope you will consider it helpful to get in touch with me directly. Nicki Perry Delivery Suite Manager

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