"Lovely midwives - inconsistent staffing"

About: Tameside General Hospital

What I liked

Lovely midwives who unfortunately are over worked.

What could be improved

I waited 1.5 hours to see a consultant, my 3rd appointment after being transferred from MLC due to some inconsistent blood results. The waiting area is packed most of the times, with no seats - not very convenient for pregnant ladies!

When finally seen by the midwives initially (and this was the case at every consultant appointment), they were not aware that I had a consultants appointment, they knew nothing about my reasons to be there, and proceeded to look suitably confused and "going to see if a consultant was available" - I thought I had a booked appointment with one!

I then saw my 3rd consultant - I have never seen the same midwife or consultant at any appointment - this is not very reassuring with regards to treatment continuity.

He proceeded to tell me that my chronic depression could be treated with "happy thinking" and left without telling me how care would proceed, how I could get a repeat prescription for my anti-depressants, and with no further appointment until after my due date, despite the last consultant recommending regular check-ups and weaning off the medication prior to my due date to avoid complications during/after birth.

The midwife was left to clean up the sobbing mess that I then became, and as helpful as she was, the only thing she could do was to refer me to a community midwife for extra support during pregnancy.

I'm now at a loss as to how to get in touch with a consultant again to get a second opinion, and I am deeply concerned that those who are perhaps not as wilful as myself will fall through the cracks of inconsistent care and patchy staffing.

Anything else?

Surely having carpets in the labour ward is not best practice in regards to hygiene?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Tameside General Hospital

I am sorry to read about your experiences in the antenatal clinic. The antenatal clinic is a busy area however, waiting for 1.5 hours is clearly not acceptable. You have raised concerns about the lack of continuity from the midwives and the doctors. Without some further details I cannot investigate this thoroughly. Would you please contact Mrs. Chris Bassett Midwifery Manager through the switchboard at the hospital (0161 331 6000) who will ensure that you have the most appropriate level of care and support during your pregnancy. Should you feel that you cannot do this please see your community midwife as soon as possible to refer you back to the hospital.'

Best Wishes

Lesley Tones

Head of Midwifery and Women's Services

“Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved?

Please contact Philip Dylak, Director of Nursing at philip.dylak@tgh.nhs.uk

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