"The facilities in the new Bloomsbury ..."
About: University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing London NW1 2BU
What I liked
The facilities in the new Bloomsbury Birthing Centre were amazing. Our room was spotless and very well arranged, and post birth, we had a very good standard of care from supportive midwives and doctors. Despiet this, I am reticent about recommending UCH for the reasons below.
What could be improved
My major concern - which I have had echoed by a number of other mothers who have also given birth at UCH - is over the 'guidelines' the midwives use during early-stage labour. In particular the one that states that women can only be examined every 4 hours due to risk of infection. As far as I am aware, this is not a universal NHS guideline as I know other mothers in other hospitals were examined more regularly. Even if it is, strict adherence to what is meant to be a guideline, not a rule, seems ludicrous as first time mothers with very quick labours end up frightened, in pain and in end-stage labour without even being checked again. In my case I was allegedly 1cm dilated on admission, so the midwife on duty said she would only check me in 4 hours, However within 2-3 hours I was fully dilated with my waters broken, and the only reason I was checked is because the shift changed. This was despite repeated requests by my husband for someone to check me. A friend had the same experience 24 hours before me - the midwife refused to check her despite her mother (a trained paedeatric nurse) saying she was convinced her daughter was at least 8cm dilated - which she was. So I really think this guideline/policy needs to be reviewed urgently at as my labour experience was hugely coloured by fear and pain as I was allowed no pain relief and given no indication that my labour was progressing so quickly despite my instincts telling me I was nearly in final stages.