"The fertility team are the most friendly..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

What I liked

The fertility team are the most friendly and caring staff I have ever come across. They treat you with respect and compassion at what can be a confusing time. Everthing is explained to you and the open evening is a very good idea. I'm very grateful to the team for the help they have given us.

What could be improved

I had indicated a preference for home birth at my initial booking in interview and the midwives were all positive, giving a balanced view of the risks. However at my appt at the QE the consultant gave me a 20 minute talk about how risky home births were and how I was risking my life and my babys life and potentially leaving my other children motherless. They presented no positive aspects to a home birth. I have had no problems with the births of my other two children and would always listen to medical advice. I was upset after leaving as I felt there was an insinuation that I was not a good mother for considering taking such a risk and there was no other reason for this attitude apart from personal opinion. I haven't made an official complaint, as I'm continuing my care at the QE but I would like other mothers to be ready for this sort of attitude. All other aspects of my care with community midwives and other QE appointments have been excellent.

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Responses

Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on our services and for recommending the hospital to others.

I will ensure that your positive comments regarding the fertility service and the midwives are shared with the teams.

We take all concerns very seriously and I am very sorry you feel disappointed with the response from one of our consultants towards your preferred choice of birth.

The maternity department is fully supportive to offering women home birth and provides a service 24 hours a day, seven days a week with on call from the community midwives. We always assess every expectant mother and give the relevant professional advice if a home birth is felt to be a risk to a mother or baby.

I would be very happy to discuss this matter further with you. If you would like to speak to me please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 953 0667 and a member of staff will arrange for you to speak to me at the earliest opportunity.

I hope you’ve found this response useful and again I would like to thank you for the very positive scores and for recommending our hospital, despite the concerns you have raised.

Gillian Wiggham

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

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