"Awful - no patient care whatsoever."

About: Royal Surrey County Hospital

What I liked


What could be improved

Dont even attempt to use car park.

24hr reception service so can actually get into maternity ward

Take names of staff you speak to on phone as on arrival there will be no record that you are to be expected.

Take names of staff when at hospital as you will want to complain about them later.

Clocks to be working.

Anything else?

I am 34 weeks pregnant and after sudden swelling of hands and feet and cramping for 2 hours I rang the Midwife team at RSH who said that I should come in to St Catherine's ward and have my blood pressure taken. Arriving at the ward I buzz but no one lets me in until a patient happens to go through. I wait at the deserted reception for 10 minutes and with the swelling and the weight of standing I am tearful. Staff walk past ignoring me until a nurse asks if she can help. I explain that I was told to come in as have signs of preeclampsia. She checks a book and says there is no note of me coming in and to sit in the day room. An hour later I come to the conclusion that no one knows I am here so again wait in reception for 10 minutes feeling exhausted and dizzy until I ask the same lady what the ETA is on me being seen. She said I will just have to '"loiter and flag a passing midwife and ask her to deal with me". I said you don't actually work here and she said no this wasn't her dept so she had just fobbed me off when I came in. I don't even know what a midwife looks like so would have to stop every member of staff explaining my situation hoping they would help. Do you know how degrading that makes you feel? I reply that I will go home and come back in an ambulance as this will be the only way to get seen. The lady just turns to a colleague and laughs.

I am dreading giving birth at RSH as I am now aware of the zero level of service I am going to receive with uninterested staff in a horrible, rundown ward. Not even the clock in the day room was working. So now when in labour and at my most vulnerable I am expecting to have to bully my way into receiving any patient care. I am disgusted at my first experience of the maternity ward at RSH and will not use them with any subsequent births.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Surrey County Hospital

The Maternity Service strives to provide a high quality safe service and apologises that on this occasion we fell below your expectations.

We have taken on board your comments and reviewed our systems of communication and admission processes to ensure that all women coming to the Royal Surrey are treated with compassion, dignity and respect. Signage for entry buzzers has also been made clearer and we are working on ensuring that women are able to identify maternity and non maternity staff.

The hospital is committed to providing a clean, infection free environment for all patients and have a rigorous hand hygiene and cleaning programme. We can assure you that the maternity unit is included in this. Waiting areas are cleaned and tidied on a daily basis and ward areas more frequently as the need arises.

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