"Many improvements could be made. Very unpleasant..."

About: University College Hospital

What I liked

New hospital. Some of the healthcare assistants were very lovely.

What could be improved

I delivered my son at UCLH in May 2010. I was induced and essentially my contractions went from 0 to 100 miles an hour in a very short amount of time. I was refused an epidural to cope with the continuous, excruciating pain that lasted for about 7 hours.

The midwives in the delivery suite could have been a lot more sensitive. For example,

- One midwife made negative comments about the fact that my partner and I were not married. It was absolutely none of her business that we were not married. I had also hired a private midwife to provide additional support during the pregnancy. When the extremely painful contractions started, this same UCH midwife commented words to the effect "didn't your posh/expensive/private midwife teach you breathing techniques".

- After delivering my son, the midwife who delivered my baby told me off for taking pads from a trolley in the delivery room. I only wanted to take them because I was bleeding heavily and needed them.

In addition;

- When I got to the second stage of labour and it was time to push my baby out I was alone in the delivery room.

- The postnatal ward was shambolic. For example, the whiteboard in the midwives/assistants area stated that I had been discharged, but in fact I hadn't been discharged, I was still in the bed. (We waited all day to be discharged).

- A number of women and their newborns are in a small area, so it is difficult to sleep and get much privacy. You would think that when you design a new hospital you would ensure it has more space.

Anything else?

Improvements need to be made in so many areas. Many changes required don't require a huge amount of funding. It costs nothing to be sensitive and kind.

I question whether women should be encouraged to write birth plans prior to giving birth. In my experience UCH took no notice of my birth plan - which essentially just said I wanted an epidural. You seem to give women unrealistic expectations.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from University College Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feedback on your experiences at UCLH. I'm sorry that we did not meet your expectations. If you would lile to discuss your concerns in more details please do not hestiate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 3447 3042 or pals@uclh.nhs.uk

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