"Very mixed feeling about it: some people..."

About: Northwick Park Hospital

What I liked

I gave birth in Northwick Park last year.

The labour ward was clean and had some modern technology.

Day time midwife was very nice.

Some midwives in Postnatal ward were excellent, very friendly and helpful. I got some good advise on breastfeeding.

Had a nice "How to bath a newborn" demonstration.

Meals were fine, a bit small and boring, but it's a hospital, after all.

I didn't feel that I had to leave before I wanted to.

When I was pregnant, I had antenatal care there too and ultrasound stuff were excellent

What could be improved

- had to wait for long while being in labour in a small, hot and stuffy room before taken to the delivery room;

- the day time midwife who was actually really nice, was under a huge stress and was running between rooms, looking after many women at once.

- night time midwife was unfriendly and not helpful, basically ignoring me for most of the time. Didn't care to read my birth plan. They weren't really listening to me too. I was sure I was ready to deliver but they thought I wasn't - as it later appeared I was.

- I was encouraged to stay on my back, on the bed most of the time. Not what antenatal classes say!

- I was offered epidural when I was actually ready to deliver, just because the midwife thought that I was not ready and didn't want to check. It sounded very unsafe.

- After the birth, the midwife left for their break and I was left alone for a long time. They hoped there will be smb else to look after me, but nobody showed up, so at the end they returned to take me to the postnatal. Don't go there without your partner or anyone else to help! You might get very lonely.

- Delivery room, with all its modern techs, did not have a shower. It had a bath and a tap, but having a shower after giving birth would have been very nice.

- I didn't get the private room I paid for, money was returned - still not nice.

- In Postnatal ward, showers were very dirty.

- Night time stuff were very irritable - especially some assistants. Failed to call a midwife when I needed help and just left me to it.

Anything else?

It's all right for NHS care, but could be better. If you go there, insist on the midwife reading your birth plan, take your partner along, and just insist on the things you want to happen. Make yourself heard. Do what you think is right. Prepare well, read on birth, attend antenatal classes - they are very good in NWP. Don't forget your own towels and soup.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Northwick Park Hospital

Thank you for your feed back in relation to your experiences within the Maternity Department at Northwick Park Hospital. Your comments will be passed on to the manager for this area and to the Head of Midwifery for their information and action.

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