"Worst midwives ever!"

About: St Richard's Hospital

While on Tangmere maternity ward, the midwife allocated to me, came to me saying that I had been seen holding my hand over my new baby’s mouth and nose, for long enough to alarm the witness. The midwife withheld when this had supposedly happened (I just presumed that this was due to hospital procedure). I knew I had done no such thing. This allegation seemed to trigger a chain of events; my baby was taken away and looked after by staff overnight, this midwife made a safeguarding referral to Social Services in respect of this allegation, I was referred to a psychiatrist.... On returning home, I complained to the hospital about how this had been handled. Things had seemed so secretive. Their response letter, which arrived months later, did not seem to acknowledge wrong doing on the part of the staff, and confusingly, from the way I understood the letter, there had never been any such allegation in the first place. The version of ‘events’ the letter discussed came as a surprise; largely inconsistent with what I had been told at the time, as well as being inconsistent with the Safeguarding fax that the department had sent to Social Services, so I recalled my paperwork. It turned out that indeed no one had even made this allegation. From what I can make out, I can’t see that there had even been any safeguarding concerns in fact. In addition to this, despite the psychiatric assessment of me in terms of Post-Natal depression (I now saw that - by my understanding of the documents anyway – the psychiatrist had reported that I did not seem depressed, that no psychiatric follow up was needed, and that this had been agreed with the midwife team), yet, according to Social Services records, the Head of Midwifery had said to them that I had been visited by a psychiatrist, but instead of relaying what the psychiatrist’s assessment was, the Head of Midwifery reported that I was highly at risk of Post Natal depression. I cannot understand how a Midwife can over-rule a Psychiatrist on any psychiatric issue. These are just two examples of concerns I had with how things had been handled. I believe that this Head of Midwifery is also someone senior within the hospital hierarchy in terms of safeguarding. I reported both of these midwives to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The NMC wrote back to me having conducted investigations and among other things, saying that one of these midwives acknowledges with their employers that information in the referral was misrepresented. I am a single mum and cannot understand why the staff behaved in this way, the best I understand the explanation is that they thought they were acting in the best interest of myself and my daughter, I find this alarming in this modern day and age. Complaining is pointless- it goes right to the head of Midwifery. Therefore, I do not recommend the Maternity unit, Tangmere Ward, at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester.

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Responses

Response from St Richard's Hospital

Thank you for sharing your feedback which the Trust is aware you also raised as a formal complaint and has been dealt with under the NHS Complaints Procedure.

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