"Cheerful staff but too few of them"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

When I went into Labour with my second child in April I went Jessop's. At first I had to wait a while to be seen, but the midwife who examined me was lovely. I told her that I was hoping to use the birthing pool. She apologised and said this might not be possible because they were so short staffed. However, she went off and seemingly pulled some strings and a midwife came from another ward to look after me. Several hours later, I had the most relaxing birth experience, in the pool with music in the background. I was so grateful that they helped me achieve that.

As a nurse I am familiar with working in a very busy situation, and this made me appreciate the high quality care that was given more. I lost quite a bit of blood following the birth while waiting for stitches, however the efficiency that this was dealt with when I alerted the midwife was impressive. The team calmed my nerves and while being laid flat and given a fluid bolus and stitched by a very gentle doctor, I still managed to have my new baby snuggled skin-to-skin on my chest.

The team seemed very thinly stretched and overworked, yet managed to be wonderfully kind, cheerful and professional, particularly the midwife and support workers. They all must have been exhausted. Every member of staff I encountered during my stay was incredibly kind and professional, but I was aware how busy and understaffed the unit was, and in my opinion staffing levels were unsafe.

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Responses

Response from Deborah Hopkinson, Patient Experience Co-ordinator, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Congratulations on the birth of your second child and thank you for taking the time for providing compliments about the staff you came into contact with. I appreciate how busy you must be with a new baby but your feedback is very important to us. Your kind words will be forwarded on to the staff and their senior manager who will be able to consider your comments too about staffing levels.

Kind regards

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