"Great pre and post natal maternity care"

About: Hillingdon Hospital

I had a very positive experience of having my baby at Hillingdon hospital. The staff all worked very well together and were very caring and professional. I made frequent visits to the day unit on Katherine Ward leading up to the birth and the staff were always very kind and welcoming, despite being very busy. The delivery suite facilities were really nice, modern and spacious, and it was great to have 1:1 care from a midwife throughout labour. The other people involved in the delivery - the obstetricians and anesthetists were great and I thought communication with me and between them was very good. The staff on the post natal ward were also very good and were always available when I needed their help. It's fantastic that partners are able to stay overnight (which I understand is pretty unusual), particularly as I had to stay for 4 nights due to complications. The things which I think could be improved are - the maternity triage area is very cramped, there aren't enough seats for everyone and the privacy is very poor. Everyone in the waiting area can hear all of the phone calls and conversations that the midwives are having with patients, and the monitoring stations are basically within the waiting area. The ante natal clinic seems to run very late, and even when I had the first appointment of the day, the clinic started over 30mins late. The car parking is awful, with very long queues (presumably because the antenatal clinic runs late which clogs up the car park). Whilst it's brilliant that partners can stay overnight on the post natal ward, it would be so much better if there was a comfier chair for them, similar to the recliner chair in the delivery suites, as it's pretty much impossible for them to get any sleep on the standard upright chairs. Need all the sleep they can get! However I was generally very happy with my overall experience and was impressed by the staff and the facilities. And that includes all staff groups, including the catering staff, midwifes, healthcare assistants, doctors, sonographers and others! I would definitely recommend to others.

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Response from Hillingdon Hospital

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed and delightful comment about our Maternity Service. We have worked hard to modernise the Labour Ward which has now been opened for over a year now. The next area we are working on to improve the service is in fact the Triage area! We intend to move it to a more purpose built area with specific areas where confidential conversations can take place in privacy in the very near future (matter of a couple of weeks). Thank you for your helpful feedback about antenatal clinics running behind time. This is more difficult to resolve as the doctors want to give time to women who have complicated pregnancies and thoroughly explain what the plan is and answer any questions that women might have. The Antenatal Clinic staff generally let those waiting know how long the wait is. The car parking issue is also being addressed at a wider trust level and we are waiting to hear about the latest proposals. Having partners stay overnight was an initiative that was brought in as a result of mothers raising this as a request. . We have managed to get recliner chairs for all the single rooms but unfortunately there is just not space for there to be recliner chairs by every bedside. We have plans to increase the postnatal area in the future and that will be very much taken into consideration. Anne Thysse, Matron

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