"I have been booked in to have my second..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

What I liked

I have been booked in to have my second child at the QE and up until today have been very happy with the care that I have received there. Both of the ladies that did my scans where fantastic and took a lot of time and care to explain everything to me and didn't rush me through the appointments at all.

What could be improved

I attended an appointment today regarding a planned c section as the birth of my first child was extremely complicated and involved an emergency c section.

The appointment was booked in very early on with a consultant but when I arrived a doctor came to talk to me. She had not read my notes and was unaware as to why I was there. When I told her that I would not have a VBAC, she made it clear again that she was unaware of my medical history yet she was trying to force me to consider having one. How can it be considered acceptable to make medical decisions when the doctor has not even bothered to read my notes or make themselves aware of my medical history and previsou complications. Further, she was unable to answer the majority of my questions.

Finally she went to get the consultant as it was clear that the appointment was not going well. The consultant that attended was rude, dismissive and patronising. She said some seriously offensive things to me and as a result of which I will be persuing a formal complain against her personally and the hospital.

As a result of the absolutley appauling treatment I have received today I will be looking into transfering my care to another hospital despite the fact that I am now 36 weeks pregnant.

I have not been treated as an individual at all and it has been made very clear to me that what matters at the QE is ticking the right boxes and not treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve. It is not an overstatement to say that I am disgusted with the attitude of the consultant and the lack of time and care that was taken to simply read my notes before attempting to conduct the appointment.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on our services. We take all comments very seriously and I am aware that you received a telephone call from one of our matrons on the 16th September, as soon as we were made aware of your concerns. I hope she was able to help you and answer your questions.

I understand that you have decided to continue your care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a plan for your care has been tailored to suit your individual needs and agreed with you.

You raised some points that I would like to address, particularly for other women who may be reading this with similar concerns. With regards to your concern over being urged to consider VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), I must explain that this is the recommended delivery option for the majority of mothers who have had a previous caesarean, as it does not involve major surgery and is usually safer for mum and baby. However the final decision will always be made with the patient’s consultant and we encourage our patients to make an informed choice after being given the right information.

I’m sorry you felt that you weren’t listened to in your appointment and that you have concerns over the attitude of some of our medical staff towards you. I understand that you intend to submit a formal complaint regarding this. When we receive your complaint we will begin the investigation process, which will include looking into the attitude of those staff as well as any other complaints you have.

I hope you feel that we have been able to help resolve some of your issues. If you would like to discuss anything further or to find out about our complaints process please don’t hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 953 0667.

Thank you again for providing feedback.

Gillian Wiggham

Divisional Manager for Women and Children’s Services and Head of Midwifery.

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