"My maternity experience"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Maternity unit Wishaw General Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

A few months ago I wrote on this site to praise the staff and maternity unit at wishaw General. How wrong was I.

First of all I would have liked to have made this complaint official however I have been too busy looking after my new baby and have ran out of the official complaint timeline. For maybe some recognition from this site to ensure no one else is treated the way I was will be a good outcome for me.

I would like to emphasis this is not about all staff members of the maternity. Triage and ward 23 were a godsend to me. However the same can not be said for some staff in ward 22.

There are a number of things I would like to say about my treatment but I will stick to the most important. For my full pregnancy I suffered from severe hyperemesis and was admitted a lot of times to the maternity unit.

The treatment I received on whole was shocking. Left in a room for a number of hours when entering triage without a midwife even introducing themselves. Ward 23 staff couldn't have been more helpful. The staff I came into contact with in ward 22 again didn't greet me or introduce themselves.

The Baxter pump I was hooked up to was left to occlude for hours on end and on half the admissions the correct fluids were not prescribed properly and therefore I was left for more hours without fluids. Medication? What medication, absolute joke! Never received the medication I was supposed to and half the time had to bring in my own supply from home just so I was getting some in my system.

Then there was the incident with a specific drug I was on. I was in suspected preterm labour and transferred to Forth Valley hospital with my notes to find that my booking in weight was placed whilst I was on specific drugs and not my actual weight which happens to be 2 and a half stone lighter. The treatment I received at Forth Valley hospital was amazing. I feel your doctors at Wishaw may have given me too much medication by mistake.

Also throughout my pregnancy I was told on several occasions I would be given an ECG due to a tachy heartbeat. This was never ordered or carried out until the staff at Forth Valley took it upon themselves to perform one. Thankfully it came back as normal but this might not have been the case. Mews charts? These seem to be pointless in maternity as the correct mews protocol was not followed at all and the obs were not carried out on a 4 hour basis.

Then we come to the two most shocking parts of my treatment. Being accused of having an eating disorder. As mentioned I suffered from extreme hyperemesis throughout my pregnancy and lost 3 stone. My previous pregnancy was the same. My community team were very worried about this and I was sent to dietitians and growth scans to keep an eye on my baby.

When presenting myself at triage one day with dehydration due to vomiting several times a day, a member of staff said I was purposely not eating so I wouldn't put weight on during pregnancy! ! ! Absolute joke! I think you need to educate your staff on the effect of hyperemesis and what it entails because as it seems few people I came into contact with seem to care about this condition. One doctor did care and they were a god send.

Then some staff accused me of being completely psychotic where your team in ward 22 seem to take being fed up and crying at the end of a long hard pregnancy as signs of being depressed. This team decided the best treatment for a vulnerable psychotic person is to force antidepressants on them and wait until the early hours of the morning to wake them up and try to convince them that the best course of action is to take antidepressants, which were previously declined earlier in the day. This was done as I said in the early hours of the morning. In the morning, woken from a sleep, when I was alone with no family around and also in a four bedded ward where other patients could hear ...disgusting!

As an NHS employee I think the patient care and bedside manners in ward 22 leave a lot to be desired and your staff should be sent on the effective communication course. The care from staff I came into contact with in Ward 23 was good.

There are a few members of ward 22 who showed compassion but some left a lot to be desired. One midwife was great. A csw was great and the real godsend of ward 22 is a ward domestic who in the last 3 admissions was the only person to treat me like a human being and show me that there is some great staff members in the maternity unit. If it was not for these 3 members of staff in ward 22, the ward 23 staff, the staff at Forth Valley hospital and my community midwife I don't think my baby or myself would have survived.

I just thank god that I do not plan on having any more children as I feel the treatment of hyperemesis sufferers in Wishaw is cruel, in-compassionate and dismissed. And unless there was a guarantee to be looked after in ward 23 I believe I would choose to go to another hospital for treatment.

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Responses

Response from Lyn Clyde, Clinical Services Manager, Women's Services, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Lyn Clyde

Dear Lauren17,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us. You’ve obviously had a difficult time and I’m sorry to hear you have experienced such a varied level of care and support.

Whilst there are some positives to take from your story, I am really concerned to read about your experiences on Ward 22 and I would want to look into particular aspects of your care.

I would be grateful if you would contact me directly to discuss your experiences further – Tel No: 01698 366363

In the meantime I will certainly be sharing your feedback with all staff in the areas concerned to allow them to reflect on their practice and the impact it had on you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards

Lyn

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Response from Gail Bell, Deputy Head of Midwifery, Women and Children, NHS Forth Valley

Dear Lauren

Congratulations on the birth of your wee baby! I hope you and your new baby are well.

I too was sorry to read about the upsetting time you have had but would like to thank you for the kind comments about the care you received at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

I am sure Lyn will be extremely helpful and supportive to you and will take forward the points and concerns raised in your posting.

Once again congratulations and best wishes to you and your family for all the exciting times ahead.

Kindest regards

Gail

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