"the anaesthetist, the epidural, ..."

About: Queen Charlotte's Hospital

What I liked

the anaesthetist, the epidural, the midwife, my baby boy emerging pink and screaming

What could be improved

the antenatal ward, number of beds/midwives available, communication between different wards, communication between antenatal staff and myself, post-natal care.

birth plan schmirth plan - don't bother, no one takes any notice.

Anything else?

arrived on fri eve at 8.30pm as instructed due to be induced on sat am. midwives too busy to admit me to antental ward until 9.30pm. went into spontaneous labour at 10.30pm, had a show, waters broke, contractions suddenly every few minutes, agony. managed to stagger to desk to inform staff, not remotely interested. another woman in next bed in antenatal ward was in labour, had run out of gas in air 3 hours ago, still waiting for a bed but apparently no room at the inn. i was offered paracetamol/codeine and a monitor placed on my belly as there was meconium in waters and they had to check the baby was ok. i was bucking with the contractions so the monitor kept falling off and i was left alone screaming and frightened for ages. they couldn't give me diamorphine (which wasn't in my birth plan but clearly all they were willing to give me) until the monitor had been on for 20mins. midwife joked 'you can't give birth here in the antenatal ward!!!' - but there were no beds available anywhere else. what was i supposed to do about it?! i suspect i was eventually given diamorphine to slow down the labour. i was told after 2 hours i was 8cm. finally wheeled, screaming, to birth centre. all this time i had blood and meconium pouring out of me. birth centre midwife said i was back to 5cm and it was going to be a long haul. they finally saw meconium (but i had already been in the pool by this point - not exactly in my right mind/thinking about infection etc) and said 'you can't be here!!' as i shouldn't have been sent there at all with meconium present. wheeled, screaming, (again), to delivery suite. LOVELY anaesthetist and staff gave me epidural and took over and delivered my baby boy with minimal tearing. if the antenatal ward hadn't been such an unmitigated nightmare, being left alone etc, i think the birth would have been straightforward and relatively quick. The midwife was amazing, the delivery suite staff brilliant but the rest awful

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Responses

Response from Queen Charlotte's Hospital

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. We are sorry to learn of your experience and would like to assure you that your comments will be shared with the relevant teams. You raise a number of issues and we would ask you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 3313 0088 or email pals@imperial.nhs.uk to discuss your concerns.

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