"The one-to-one care that we received..."

About: Airedale General Hospital

What I liked

The one-to-one care that we received from our midwife was exemplary even though the Labour Ward seemed terribly under-staffed at the time of our visit.

We were involved in decisions and felt that the midwife was extremely professional and caring in her approach.

What could be improved

Needs more night staff! We were kept waiting for around 10 minutes outside of the locked doors of the maternity reception in the freezing cold of the small hours as no-one was available to answer the door.

After the birth of our baby we were moved from the delivery room in around 2 hours, which made us feel like we were on a conveyor belt. After 48 hours with no sleep due to a long labour culminating in a birth in the early hours, we were physically and emotionally shattered, it would have been nice to have been left to recover.

In my opinion this maternity unit badly needs a re-development to implement LDRP (Labor/ Delivery/ Recovery/ Postpartum) rooms where you receive real continuity of care in one room instead of the 'birthing factory' impression that we were left with.

Maybe we just arrived on a busy night when some Staff were off sick but subsequent conversations with friends and relatives who have had their babies at Airedale recently all indicate similar experiences of an understaffed Labour Ward.

We can forgive this as we received such good attention from our midwife. What we cannot forgive, however, is the disgusting treatment we received at the hands of the post-natal ward (or Stalag 21 as we now refer to it). To be quite frank, the staff on this ward were rude and unhelpful and need a serious performance audit and some stern advice about their attitude towards their patients.

Anything else?

I would like to relay our experience on the post-natal ward. As my wife was having problems getting started with beastfeeding, we asked on 3 separate occasions for help.

On the first occasion we were given the barest minimum of help and a 'just get on with it' attitude.

On the second occasion we were sent a student who tried but was too inexperienced to be of much help.

On the third occasion, by which time we were getting seriously concerned that our baby wasn't feeding properly, we received what amounted to a stern reprimand for not having fed our baby adequately, and still no real help.

I was livid as all we wanted was for someone to spend some supportive time with us to show us how to get started, and instead we diischarged ourselves at the earliest possible opportunity and went home to bottle-feed our baby.

You shouldn't have to ask for help in the basic needs of looking after your baby, it should be there on offer!

I thought that the NHS was supposed to promote breastfeeding, but we went in to Airedale determined to breastfeed and our experience on Ward 21 left us determined to bottle-feed. Way to go, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust!

Story from NHS Choices

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