"Mixed Opinions"

I have been seen by the Perinatal Services for the past year or so. I have found the treatment to be mixed. I have seen four different consultants which can make things a bit difficult. I spent just two days on the ward as a voluntary patient, my short stay wasnt due to the team however, it was my own issues with feeling trapped on the ward. I found the ward staff to be generally very caring and supportive. The ward itself is a bit dull considering there are young babies on there.

I have had more involvement with the perinatal community team. I have found this a somewhat negative experience overall. I feel the team is too small to manage the care efficiently as there are only two commumity nurses, one of which is part time. I'm sad to say i have felt somewhat threatened a couple of times into agreeing to things that i do not want to.

I also think a few decisions about my care have been made 'behind the scenes' without my involvement. I have never seen or even been offered a care plan despite asking for a copy several times. I was told i was going to be referred for CBT with a nurse who was trained in it on the ward, this never happened.

A lot of situations seem to be blown out of proportion i think for fear of litigation, which is not really the staffs fault, however this has had a negative effect on my mental health.

My overall opinion of the community team is that if you are quite ill, they are too quick to try and get you admitted, rather than support you in the community. I also feel that some of the healthcare professionals are on a bit of a power trip and if you disagree with them a few times, you are too much trouble for them.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St George's Hospital

Thank you for sharing your comments regarding your experience of accessing the perinatal service. I acknowledge that during the transition period, whilst awaiting the commencement of a new consultant and due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to employ locum medical staff in order to maintain the service. This in turn would have resulted in some service users, including yourself being in the unfortunate position of having to be seen by various locums, for which I can only apologise. I feel reassured that during your short stay on the ward you found staff to be ‘very caring and supportive’. In relation to the ward environment, this is an issue that we are trying to address and there are plans within the Trust to redevelop the unit. We understand the frustrations with regards to the community service being a limited resource.

As a team this is an area which we would like to develop. As a team, we aspire to ensure all service users are involved within the development of their care plan and receive a copy – again I can only apologise if this did not occur in your case.

I’m sorry to hear of your experience in relation to the staff members within the team and I would like to express by apologies for any distress caused whilst accessing the service.

If you would like to discuss your personal care further, the Trust’s Customer Services Department can be contacted on 01785 783022 who can arrange for you to speak with the Service Manager.

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