"I had a baby at the Royal Free. ..."

About: Royal Free Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I had a baby at the Royal Free. The day I gave birth I had a wonderful midwife (agency), who knew the medical team well, and worked very well. Resulting in a great birth for my son.

What could be improved

Following having the baby I requested to be discharged, as it was too late in the day (4 pm) this was not possible. At 10pm we were still on the labour ward. We were advised the hospital was full and there would be no bed for me that night, and "if I chose to stay I would probably be moved from ward to ward, possibly a few times." I asked if a paediatrician could come and check baby over, and I would go home. I was then advised that multiple calls had already been made to request this and declined by the paediatricians as they were too busy. It was suggested that i self discharge, as their is 'no paperwork for when this happens'. I was told to go to my GP for the new baby check, even though it was good Friday and the GP was closed. We were advised the peadiatricians would not see us the next day as an out patient.

Following much consideration, we decided that being moved from ward to ward post childbirth would be more detrimental to my (and baby's health) than going home, so this is what we did, at midnight.

Anything else?

I find it really sad that the NHS can not organise itself to even have an outpatients clinic to follow up when these sorts of things inevitability occur. Fortunately, we were OK, but it could have been very different.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Royal Free Hospital

It is good to hear that you had such a positive experience during the birth of baby but your other comments are a matter of concern. They will be passed to the senior staff responsible for the maternity service so they are aware of the general issue. But if you would like your particular case to be investigated, please advise our PALS service, details below. Thank you for taking the time to comment on our service.

Telephone: 020 7472 6446/6447; (020 7472 6445 - 24 hour answer phone)

Fax : 020 7472 6463

Minicom : 020 7472 6593


Interpreting services: 020 7472 6592

Text number: 07624 803635 (for use by deaf, hard of hearing and hearing impaired patients only)

Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am - 4.30pm, except Wednesdays 10am - 4.30pm

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful