"Very friendly receptionist in ..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

What I liked

Very friendly receptionist in day assessment unit

What could be improved

I was told to attend the day assessment (maternity unit) by my midwife as I needed to have something which was probably normal checked out, just in case. I was booked in at 5.15 and wasn't seen until gone 9pm, when all that happened was the midwife strapped me to a monitor, told me what had happened was abnormal so I'd need to see a doctor then left me for two hours. The delay originally was due to the fact that there was only one midwife on and a waiting room of over 10 women, all scared and uncertain. No triage service, so no early advice about how urgent your referral was. And then, instead of saying "it could be x, or y, so we need to do such and such tests" you were left in the dark, strapped to a board, worryied stupid that this was a real emergency after all! Dr saw me at gone 11pm - she hadn't started work until 9.30, so they could have told me that it was going to take that long to be seen so I could find something else to do in the meantime. For four of the hours I was there, there was only one midwife on the unit. The staff were doing their best under the circumstances but because they were overstretched the standard of care suffered. I am supposed to be having my baby there in the next few days - in fact am having contractions now - and am genuinely nervous about the care my baby and I will receive. A plea to management to ensure there are enough staff!!!!!

Story from NHS Choices

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