"Maternity care in Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust"

About: King George Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I'm pregnant for the first time - an exciting yet daunting experience. I thought given that this is my first pregnancy, the care I'd be given by my antenatal clinic/team and local NHS trust would be optimum, but sadly this has not been the case.

From the beginning of the pregnancy I've felt as though I've not been given nearly enough information. Yes, I was handed an absolute tonne of leaflets and educational booklets but am I really supposed to sit there and read through each and every one? The information within one booklet often contradicts that in another, so where does that leave me?

While the majority of the people I've seen have been friendly enough, there have been some exceptionally rude people along the way as well - a person at the scan desk at King George antenatal clinic is one that immediately jumps to mind.

I've generally felt as though all these people just expected me to know what I'm supposed to do in each appointment, and what's supposed to happen next - how do I know that if you don't tell me? Sadly my memory doesn't stretch back to a past life where I may have previously had a child.

At my latest midwife appointment I was handed a leaflet with details on how to book antenatal classes. It says on there 'please book after your 22 week scan' yet I've been given this leaflet when I'm 29 weeks. I've since tried to call the Cranbrook Children's Centre to try to book said classes, but with no luck. They've taken my details down three times and yet no one has called me back.

My understanding is that these classes are very busy and get full very quickly - considering that I was supposed to book after 22 weeks, and I'm now 29 weeks, I'm not optimistic that I'll get a place straight away. We'll see when someone eventually decides to call me back (hopefully that will be before I have the baby).

Pregnancy is supposed to be an exciting time for new mums, but the care I've received has frankly been mediocre and left me feeling frustrated and annoyed at each turn. I'm lucky to have a best friend who has been pregnant twice within the last three years, and has given me information that the antenatal team failed to.

With various reports in the news recently about the poor maternity care at Queens Hospital, the other hospital in my borough, I really expected more.

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