"I am still upset and aggrieved ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

What could be improved

I am still upset and aggrieved by the lack of care and kindness given by a couple of the midwives in the delivery suite when they delivered my third child (the care for my first two was good). I went in to hospital in the middle of the night in March 2009 - I had phoned and been told to come in because my contractions were regular and intense. I was checked and despite being in great pain was told that as I was only 2cm dilated I could either go home or my partner had to go home and I could wait on the ward. I didn't feel like I could cope with the 20 minute car journey and chose to stay, although I was very tempted to go as it meant that I would have had the support of my partner. I was told by the midwife examining me that I wasn't coping well with the pain, and given a codeine (made no difference). I then lay in a bath on the ward, on my own, in awful pain for about 40 minutes until I realized that the baby was coming at which point I screamed for help as the pain was so intense. I then had to walk round to the delivery suite where my baby daughter arrived about 20 minutes later - obviously my partner wasn't there as he had been sent home. I am still upset and traumatized that I had to go through all this on my own and that my partner had not been present at the birth (he turned up about 15/20 minutes after the birth). I also had no pain relief except for a codeine and gas and air when I was in stage three labour. I am very grateful that my daughter was delivered safely and the care by the (different) midwife when I was in the delivery suite giving birth was good, but I am still upset by the decisions made by the midwife that assessed me and led to me having my baby on my own and suffering intense pain on my own without access to pain relief. I don't believe that anyone should be in labour on their own when they could have support and there was a delivery room available that we could have waited in.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

While pleased that both you and your daughter are now doing well and that the care you received on the delivery suite itself was good, you are very clearly unhappy at the decisions taken when you first attended the maternity unit. And for that unhappiness, please accept our apologies.

We feel that what happened deserves to be investigated further so that you get answers to the questions you have raised. From what you've written, however, it's our impression that this is not a matter that you have felt able to discuss with us formally up until now. To do this, there are two options you can follow:

1) E-mail us at generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net with your contact details and we'll ask the Trust's senior midwife to contact you so that you can tell her about what happened.


2) For a more formal investigation, you can send a complaint to generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net and it will be passed through the Trust's complaints team on your behalf.

We hope that you get in touch soon.

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