"Dangerous and neglectful care."

About: Leighton Hospital

What I liked

The lone midwife was very apologetic.

What could be improved

I was sent to labour ward by my midwife sure to concerns.

Labour ward it's currently being refurbished so head to find the new one first of all. It took 20 minutes just for someone to answer the buzzer, luckily I wasn't in labour.

I then was shown to the triage waiting room which is more like a broom cupboard it's so small and cramped. Heavilly pregnant women were standing or sitting on the floor in corridors due to lack of seats and space.

Even women in labour were being sent to this room and there was one poor lady on her hands and knees in pain left for 30 mins in the corridor.

It took 4 hours for me to be seen and this was with a referral from my midwife, I dread to think how long some women would be left waiting. There was just one midwife operating the triage system.

I am now going to demand that I be transfered to another hospital, this set up although temporary is dangerous and should not be legal.

Anything else?

More staff needed and better planning.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Leighton Hospital

We welcome comments which help us to improve the quality of your experience during pregnancy, labour and postnatally. We would also like to apologise that your experience fell short of the high standard of care that we aim to provide throughout our maternity services.

The attendances at any maternity unit is unpredictable and at times can put excessive demands on the service. We strive to manage these peaks in activity, with safety our overriding priority.

The Triage service is open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, enabling continuous access for women who have pregnancy related problems which require assessment and are unable to wait for the next available clinic or GP appointment. Most women self refer, however we also see women via their GP or community midwife. It is discussed with all women that there may be a wait to be seen as we do not have an appointment system. Triage operates similar to A&E, where women are triaged and then prioritised dependent upon their need. This means some patients have longer waits than others.

The midwife taking your phone call discusses your concerns. As the Triage area is within the labour ward, the security of our women and baby’s is paramount and you will ring a bell for access. There may be a short wait to answer this and we apologise that there was an extra wait on this occasion. You are greeted on admission by a member of staff who notifies the triage midwife of your arrival. If you are in established labour, care will be transferred to a labour ward midwife. If at this time there are a number of women accessing the service you may then need to wait until a midwife is available to do a full assessment, which may include review by medical staff.

Whilst our new labour ward is under development, we have aimed to maximise clinical space on the current labour ward and therefore acknowledge that the waiting room is smaller than that which will be available in the facility due to open in the autumn. We appreciate we have a limited number of spaces in the current waiting room but are able to provide extra chairs and refreshments if required.

Once again we apologise that the experience you received at the Leighton Maternity unit which fell short of the high standards that we are striving to deliver and if you would like to discuss any aspects of this further, please contact Pam Cornwall, Head of Midwifery on 01270 278013.

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