"My wife and i were on the 11am ..."

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

(as a relative),

What I liked

My wife and i were on the 11am tour of the labour ward as she was due to give birth in 7 weeks.

During the tour (which was quite long but not very informative) my wife began to experience contractions. The midwife who was due to retire very soon was very helpful and cut short the tour to help us. We were taken to the labour ward where the staff there took over.

The staff hurriedly changed the sheets in the room and we were left there.

40 minutes later we saw our first midwife, she brought in a baby monitor and walked back out, 20 mins later she returned ORDERED my wife to lay on the bed. placed the monitor on my wife in a very rough manor told me to "hold it there" she then left the room about 15 seconds later.

We were listening to the heart-beat and watching the rate on the monitor, after about 5 mins the monitor became erratic, we could no longer hear the heartbeat and the machine started to alarm. We started trying to find the heatbeat ourselves but to no joy. The alarm was loud and the lack of heartbeat worried my wife and I.

After 15 mins i was getting panicked and i went to find a midwife. i found 2 sitting at the desk, drinking coffee and having a good old joke.

I told them them the situation, the two midwives began to tell me that my wife hadnt been booked in and they were unaware that she was here (thought the alarm might of been a bit of a giveaway) the got my wifes details from me and i was told to go back into the room and someone would come to us. 15 more mins and the midwife returned, she silenced the alarm found the heartbeat again (To our relief) told me to hold it there for 25 mins and then left again.

After 20 mins we again lost the heartbeat and once again the loud alarm started i got a midwife, she looked at the readout turned of the machine then said she would get a doctor

The doctor arrived in about 2 mins, he was very pleasant and very helpful, he did some tests (wont go into details) and informed us that Cont....

What could be improved

Cont.... he believed my wife was in the early stages of labor. He then left and informed us a midwife will be in shortly. at aprox 4:30pm the midwife finally arrived. (yes we waited that long) she told us the baby was early and said my wife needed steroids to help with it's lungs. We asked about side effects but before we got an answer the midwife was jabbing a needle into my wifes arm. the MW then left. 4 hours later we were informed by a new midwife that we were being moved to anti natal, we were rushed across the hospital. The MW marching way ahead of me and my waddling along wife. We were plonked on a ward and left. The ward looked dirty and there were dirty tissues and empty cups under the bed, an hour later they came to us, asked if my wife was allergic to anything (Yes penacillin) then gave her some identity bands on her arm. By this point my wife's pains had eased and she hadnt had a contraction for over 40 mins.

At 10pm my wife was feeling much better we asked to see a doctor to assess her, but got no joy, we were beginning to feel very angry at our treatment. As most of the midwifes seemed uninterested in anything we had to say. At 11.20 a MW came to check the baby's heatbeat and check her blood preasure. (still no contractions for a while) at the same time as she was being checked i was told that i had to leave the hospital. (my wife got worried and her BP went through the roof. We were told that i couldnt stay. I asked if my wife could see a doctor but before i could finish the MW left i went to check on the status of the doctor but the midwife who seemed to be in an enjoyable personal convo on the phone said the wasnt a doctor available. At that point my wife said she wanted to go home. We were told that if anything happened it would be our fault but due to the treatment we had received and that my wife was feeling better we decided to leave anyway after being made to sign a disclamer.

Anything else?

There has been no further complications but both my wife and i are not looking forward to returning to Queens when my wife has to give birth. (giving biirth is stressful at the best of times for all involved) and the lack of communication and general respect by the staff leaves much to be improved, if you do get the chance, go somewhere else.

Story from NHS Choices

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