"All the staff I dealt with where ..."

About: Warrington Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

All the staff I dealt with where on the Labour Ward and Delivery Suite were fantastic, especially given how busy they were.

I phoned the Labour Ward at 10.30 at night when my waters broke and they were friendly and seemed almost excited as me about my impending arrival!

The midwife who took care of me was great. She was chatty and happy to let me wander around and get in whatever positions were comfortable for me. I ended up having a long labour which resulted in an emergency c-section and I'm sure she stayed beyond the end of her shift to be with me and my husband when our baby finally arrived.

The theatre staff were very professional but also friendly. It was the first operation I have ever had and they really helped put me at ease.

Midwives on the Labour ward were very helpful, providing advice on breast feeding and bathing the baby.

Even the food was good!

What could be improved

The ward was exceptionally busy during my stay, I believe that the ward had to be closed at one stage. It was very obvious that the staff were over stretched. As such, it was not always possible to get as much help as I needed. Due to my c-section it was very awkward, particularly on the first night, to pick my daughter up to feed and clean her. I could see how busy the staff were and felt guilty asking for help and when I did ask for help, at times I had to wait for quiet a while. Perhaps more Healthcare Assistants/Student Midwives could help as they could deal with the smaller things, like helping mums soothe a crying baby, and free up the midwives for the patients who need them.

I stayed over night on the Labour Ward while waiting for my Labour to establish and the bin in the toilet did get over full (you couldn't close the lid). Luckily it didn't get that bad that stuff started falling out!

I ended up having a 56 hour labour before having an emergency c-section. I believe part of this was due to the fact that because my waters had broken before my contractions started, no one wanted to examine me because of the risk of infection. Although I appreciate that this is probably general midwifery practice, I would have thought it prudent for a midwife to examine me after being in labour for 36 hours and the labour failing to progress rather than leaving me to labour for another 20 hours.

I was even seen my a Pediatrician(?) who (after over 48 hours of labour) was going to send me home for the night (despite contracting every 2-3 minutes) and asked for me to come back in in the morning to be induced! I was very fortunate that a midwife took pity on me as she could see I was in pain, and she examined me. I was taken straight up to the Delivery Suite as I was 6-7cms dilated!

There wasn't a lot of room on the Labour Ward. This was particularly a problem when you have the baby by your side as there is only enough room to get out one side of the bed with the cot there.

Anything else?

I moved to Warrington not long before I found out I was pregnant and I must admit I was a little concerned about giving birth there after reading some 'horror' stories. A work colleague who had had two of her children there reassured me and I must admit the care I received was fantastic. There were some issues, such as over stretched staff and lack of space however these are rather difficult things to remedy (can't imagine it is easy to just build a bigger hospital wing!) but they do not affect the quality of care received.

I was very grateful for my husband being able to stay so long during the day (9am-9pm) however it would be great if he could have stayed longer. I was admitted to the Labour Ward while they waited for my labour to establish and although they let him stay until 9.30pm (as they thought I was going to be taken up to the Delivery Suite at any point) he was eventually sent home and I spent the rest of the night by myself. As this was my first baby the experience was kind of scary and I would have liked him there (perhaps moved me up the the Delivery Suite where he could have stayed).

Story from NHS Choices

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