"Maternity care was very disappointing"

About: Whiston Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

In December last year I gave birth at whiston hospital to my first child. I arrived at the delivery ward and felt I was cared for to a very high standard, I cannot thank the midwives enough for all their support especially as the labour unexpectedly turned complicated. The surgical team involved were also very compassionate and supportive during my time with them.

Following a quick labour and third degree tear I was taken to ward 2E that evening. During my first night there I found the qualified staff extremely rude and unhelpful. Due to having an epidural beforehand I could not move from my bed area which required me to alert staff whenever baby was crying and to feed baby. Each time I called for assistance I was greeted with what I can only describe as 'huffs and puffs'.

I recall stating that I hadn't breast fed before and required support with this to which the member of staff forced my baby's head several times at my breast before squeezing my nipple and causing it to bleed. The remainder of the night continued in the same manner. I asked a member of staff to hand me a bag of food and drink I had brought to the ward due to not eating and drinking for a considerable amount of time.

I was ignored twice before finally staff attended me and put the bag on a chair out of my reach, again I could not move from my bed area. Following these rude interactions I spent my first night in tears and lay in a dirty bed which was only changed around 7 the following morning with a comment of  "I won't have the day staff saying I've left you like this" (well you have).

I remained on this ward a further few days and the care got no better, I was only informed on the end of the second day about the reason for surgery, despite asking several times as I could not recall events of the labour clearly, due to not being allowed home and questioning this. On more than one occasion I waited hours for paracetamol observing staff sat talking and laughing for a long period of time at the nurses station.

I spent the majority of my stay in tears before staff decided to move me to a private room, on this day two sets of visitors arrived and staff from the next shift were unable to locate me and denied I had been moved until they checked the bay themselves, at this time confidential information was given without my consent to a visitor who is not related to me.

My partner constantly cleared day old dishes from my bed space. The day of discharge I waited hours for a doctor and when I walked down the corridor with my baby to speak to staff at the desk I was told by a nursing assistant "if you insist on walking up the corridors with your baby can you wheel him down in his crib".

At this point I had had enough and stated I would be taking my own discharge to which a dr appeared within minutes and completed the discharge. Finally my bad experience was over, if you don't count being discharged without pain relief and the staff turning the wrong babies alarm off.

I left that ward without a goodbye or even that staff noticed I had left and I will never return there.

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