"A little empathy would go a long way and..."

About: East Surrey Hospital

What I liked

Some of the midwives in delivery suite and the midwife that looked after me (daytimes, it has to be said, while I was in Burstow ward). One midwife in partifular was amazing, provided me with excellent care and I wish the rest of her colleagues were as good.

What could be improved

Two of the more senior staff in Burstow Ward I found incredibly patronising and dismissive, which I did not appreciate in the very least. They made no effort to be kind or polite for that matter as my husband witnessed when he was there with me. When I did thank one midwife for finally doing something she should have done a while before she actually did it, she made me repeat "Thank you" twice when it was obvious she'd heard me the first time. I did not appreciate being treated like that when I was feeling vulnerable and scared. That is not what I call good care or even average care. They may have been busy or preoccupied, but if they cannot handle the pressure and have to vent on anyone available then that should be stopped. I demand to be treated with respect and some level of civility. I was not rude myself and there was no call for it. How hard would it be to be a little bit more civil? At the end of the day aren't all of us paying for their services through heavy taxation, etc??? Why should we put up with that kind of behaviour? Why should we always be reminded to be nice to them and why shouldn't the same apply to them when they are dealing with patients?

Anything else?

Three sleepless nights after an induction, an excruciating delivery ( nearly 14 hours labour) and three failed epidurals latter, when in the past I had two successful epidurals the first time round, I can honestly say that the birth of my third son was the most physically traumatic and terrifying experience of my life. I would never recommend this hospital to anyone considering giving birth there. Also to be expected to take my baby everywhere and not receive any help whatsoever after having him was appalling. I was physically exhausted like I have never been before in my life and the lack of sleep made it a thousand times worse. To be expected to get up and go get my breakfast, lunch, supper with my newborn was pushing it, I thought. While I was waiting to be induced I was looked after much better than after I had him, which doesn't make sense to me. No one cared how I felt or checked on me for more than a day after I got to the ward with my newborn. I couldn't wait to leave the hospital and go home as I knew I would be better looked after there in spite of the fact that I had two more young children at home.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from East Surrey Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience at East Surrey Hospital.

Clearly you had a very distressing experience and we’re sorry that on this occasion it didn’t meet the experience of the majority of our patients, 89% of whom rated the care they received during labour and birth as very good or excellent. Your comments will be fed back to our management team.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is available to listen to concerns, suggestions or queries and can help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. You can contact PALS by telephone on 01737 231958, email: pals@sash.nhs.uk, or by writing to: PALS, East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5RH.

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