"I liked... nothing about this ..."

About: Arrowe Park Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I liked... nothing about this hospital. This isn't for one incident; it's for all of it.

My biggest complaint was the maternity ward. I was given almost no choice on the procedures being performed on me even though I was fully alert, and a legion of people passed into the room while I was undressed and in compromised positions, leaving me humiliated and stripped of dignity. Either from the doctors who handled the birth or from the hideous after care, I developed complications which left me bedridden and in serious pain. I was given conflicting advice by every midwife who attended me, and sent into the showers with epidural in my system where I almost fainted from fatigue and blood loss. My husband wasn't allowed to stay with me and I woke up frequently in the night to find the baby missing, which panicked me. The nurses made no apologies for this. After a two days and night in appalling conditions I tried to leave, where the midwives threatened to take the baby away from me, for reasons known only to them, when the paediatrician had already given her hearty approval as the baby was healthy and happily breastfeeding. This last act has left me paranoid about ever going into hospital again.

As for other visits, you'll go in and wait a ridiculous amount of time to be given useless treatments. For my husband who has sleep problems, they issued him a device meant to hold his mouth open in his sleep. While there he explained that it was painful to use and still the doctors insisted this be the only method of treatment he should receive for several months. Naturally, it didn't help and put him through further distress.

Other times you go in for treatment and you'll wait months before hearing your results, if any, and get more conflicting advice from doctors.

What could be improved

EVERYTHING. Across the board this hospital needs help.

The wait times might comply with government regulations, but this is through a trick of being seen without receiving any help. You're given an appointment but it might just be a consult, deferring real treatment for weeks, or months. And you could have an appointment for 11.30 but not be seen until 2.30 and given no explanation other than, 'that's just the way they run things'.

Care staffs need to be trained, not just thrown in where they're needed, and they shouldn't be dispensing medical advice. Nurses should administer medication themselves instead of leaving it for the patient or care staff to do. And both should learn better bedside manner. Not all nurses and care staff are bad; some were the only reason I made it out of the hospital with my sanity. And one midwife was the only thing between me and the carving knife in the delivery room.

Patients should be respected and cared for, not shouted at or treated poorly when they're already vulnerable. And they shouldn't be put through more pain or suffering than they already have; the job might be stressful but a bad day shouldn't be taken out of the patient.

Anything else?

I hope this will be read and used by someone who would made use of it, that it won't be ignored or unpublished because of it's candor. I had real problems here and they need to be dealt with.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Arrowe Park Hospital

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us what happened during your admission to the maternity ward and of your husbands treatment. I am so sorry that you had such a poor experince and would be very grateful if you could contact the Trust's Patient Advice & Liaison Service to in order to discuss your concerns in more detail. (PALS 0800 432 0251)

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