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About: East Surrey Hospital

Do not plan to have your baby at this hospital. They can close at short notice and have no procedures in place to re-direct you and even worse none after they have asked you to come only to be sent away after you arrive. My wife was a high risk pregnancy. This was explained when we telephoned when she went into labour. We were asked to attend the hospital. When we arrived we were kept waiting in a cubicle for one hour with no support other than asking for our identity. We were then told the unit was now closed and we would have to leave and find another hospital. We were not told where and had to ask. We were offered three including Brighton which we were told would "be a nice day trip" for us! When the high risk factor was pointed out again we were told "Perhaps we can get an ambulance?" We were offered no solution for the obvious problem that we had driven to the hospital and that we would have to leave our car there. "Your problem, not ours." was the response. We asked if the hospitals suggested had the same facilities required for my wife's birth plan we were assured they did. This later proved to be wrong as they did not. It was clearly intended to get us out of the way as quickly as possible. After 45 minutes and no ambulance we decided the risk of waiting further with only casual promises of the imminent arrival of the ambulance was too great so we decided to drive to the nearest hospital. Nobody knew which hospital was the nearest so we opted for Croydon given the incorrect promise made about facilities. We asked for the address and directions. Nobody had them so someone was sent off to find a computer to 'Google' the address. I was then confronted with the complaint that they had arranged an ambulance and told in very clear terms that any risk to my wife or child was now my responsibility. As I rushed to get our car my wife was given the address of the hospital on a scrap of paper but no directions. Fortunately we have a navigation system and got to Croydon A&E after a hellish journey that could have been life threatening had my wife's waters broken. When we were finally admitted we were told that the hospital had also lied about letting Croydon know we were coming. There was no communication and we were a surprise to the Maternity Unit and A&E. We have heard nothing from the hospital since that horrible night so must assume their spreadsheet was completed as required and that the health of my wife and baby is now an irrelevance to their management.

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Responses

Response from Cathy White, Patient Experience Lead, Patient Experience Team, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Anonymous,

I am sorry to read about the experience you and your wife had whilst she was in labour, it was clearly a worrying time. If you would like to talk to one of our midwifery team then please email me at cathy.white@sash.nhs.uk and I will put you in touch with one of our maternity matrons.

Kind regards,

Cathy White

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Response from East Surrey Hospital

Dear Anonymous, I am sorry to read about the experience you and your wife had whilst she was in labour, it was clearly a worrying time. If you would like to talk to one of our midwifery team then please email me at cathy.white@sash.nhs.uk and I will put you in touch with one of our maternity matrons. Kind regards, Cathy White Patient Experience Team

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