"Midwife Booking Appointment"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Maternity University Hospital Lewisham / Maternity care

(as the patient),

Three weeks ago I filled in the self-referral form online for Lewisham and Greenwich, and when I did not specify which hospital I wanted to visit, it automatically directed me to University Hospital Lewisham, which is my closest hospital.

I waited for 10 days without hearing from them before calling the number on the Lewisham and Greenwich website. I left a message and got a call back that afternoon. Unfortunately I had called Greenwich midwives, rather than Lewisham, so the lady I spoke to gave me the contact details for Lewisham. She was very nice and calmed me down as I was quite stressed out, and asked that I contact her if I had any problems getting through to them.

I then spent a week calling the Lewisham number and trying to get through. I appreciate that they are an incredibly busy hospital, but I found this quite distressing.

After a week of this I called the Greenwich Midwife line again and left another message. Again, I was called back within a few hours and the woman who worked in the office was extremely nice. She yet again calmed me down while I was freaking out and offered to call them for me and see if she could get them to call me back. She then called me the next day to say that she had spoken to Lewisham, that I was in the system and that they should call me within the next few days. She also checked if I was alright and asked me to call her when they had got in contact, so she knew I was OK.

Another week passed and they had not called, so I called Greenwich again. The woman who answered the phone seemed to recognise me and remember the situation, has now allowed me to transfer to the Greenwich hospital, and again was lovely. I am deeply grateful for her caring in this situation.

I was getting more and more stressed out every time I tried to contact Lewisham, and each time I spoke to her I calmed right down. Despite me not being a patient at her hospital, she seemed to really care about my well-being and, in fact, contacted Lewisham more than once on my behalf.

I hope she gets all the praise she deserves as she is fabulous at her job.

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Response from Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

University Hospital Lewisham apologies for any delay in the booking process for women. We have recently moved to a new system and this has caused some delay for which we are very sorry. We are in the process of streamlining the referral pathways to ensure that women receive a booking appointment asap after their referral.

The telephone line for the community office is currently being transferred to another dept as all the community midwives are now based in children’s centres; our women are now being given the direct telephone number for the team bases and individual midwives.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Your kind comments have been passed to the midwife who took the call.

Lynn Bayes

Matron for Birth Centre and Community Services

Supervisor of Midwives

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

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