"My maternity experience at St Mary's"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

review I delivered my first child here on July 29th 2015. Originally I had planned to have him in the Birth Centre but as my due date came and went, induction looked increasingly likely and ultimately, we had him in the labour ward, delivering by emergency Cesarian. The birth centre: the staff were friendly and patient but, towards the end, they wrongly advised that the back pain I had been experiencing was not labour contractions but baby's position pinching a nerve. I sought a second opinion from a Harley Street specialist and this doctor was convinced the baby was too big for natural birth, they predicted induction, followed by a long labour, and ultimately a cesarian. I passed this on to the Birth Centre staff but they were completely dismissive of the doctor's view and unwilling to deviate from their plan (or even discuss the alternatives with us). Furthermore, their reasons for sticking with a natural birth despite the new foetal measurements etc were not convincing - "don't worry, we've seen 12lb babies born naturally here" etc. Prenatal Ward: By the time I was admitted here, the contractions were coming hard and fast and I had opted for an epidural. It took a little over an hour between arrival and getting the epidural. The Anaesthetist was great; quick and took the time to explain everything. The midwives were stellar; attentive, highly competent and with a lovely bedside manner. Following the cesarian, I was moved to the recovery ward and for first several of hours post-op the care was exceptional. Following a shift change however, things started too fall over - no one checked in with me anymore, drugs were late to be administered, no one could tell me when I would get moved into the post natal ward etc. Everything from changing the catheter to turning off a light took 45 minutes or more following multiple requests. Post Natal Ward Crowded, chaotic, and generally an unpleasant experience. With a few exceptions, the midwives were brash, unhelpful, and at times actually rude to patients. Mostly, however, they were just too busy or disinterested to help. Drug rounds were administered late or skipped entirely. Handovers between shifts were disorganised and the new attendants would simply blame their predecessor for the confusion/lack of continuity. The doctors were good (thankfully), but everything goes through the midwives which made this a very unpleasant experience. Fortunately my baby was relatively easy but for some of my neighbours dealing with real problems, the midwives handled them in an appalling manner and often made the situation worse. Overall, while the doctors at St Mary's were good, the postnatal staff were consistently bad which soured the overall experience. If given the choice again, I would also seek hospitals (like Queen Charlottes) where you have the option to "upgrade" to a private room for a nominal fee. At St Mary's the only such option is the Lindo Wing which is upwards of 1500 per night.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust wishes to thank you for taking the time to post your comments about the care you received from Maternity service at St Mary's hospital. We are concerned about some of the experience you had following your baby's birth. Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) would like to discuss this matter further and have the opportunity to look into your concerns. We would encourage you to contact PALS by email on pals@imperial.nhs.uk or by telephone 0203 313 0088.

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