"Utmost praise for giving birth at Stafford Hospital"

About: Stafford Hospital / General surgery Stafford Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I have given birth to three babies at Stafford; the first was sadly stillborn in December 2007, my son arrived safely in February 2009 and my daughter in July 2012.

We were placed under the care of Miss Powell as our consultant and attended her Outpatients Clinic in addition to having our ultrasound scans at the hospital and going on to give birth in the delivery suite, Throughout our experiences we have consistently been treated with kindness, compassion and professionalism by every single member of staff we have encountered. Miss Powell herself was superb; she led us gently through the painful time of delivering a stillborn baby and the subsequent decisions we had to make about a post-mortem and a funeral. In the subsequent pregnancies, she was extremely thorough, but showed an incredible amount of kindness, far beyond any professional requirements.

The first midwife we encountered on the day we discovered Evie had died, Liz Pearson, was incredibly compassionate and helped make a horrendous time bearable. Although not directly involved with the subsequent births, she took time to support and reassure us, and shared our joy when William and Martha finally arrived. The team who carried out the scan that confirmed her death, and the subsequent scans for our living babies were understanding and thorough.

Your system of putting a 'teardrop' sticker on the front of the notes of patients who have experience the loss of a baby is incredibly important in enabling staff to immediately realise our story without having to ask questions. I very much appreciated that every member of staff referred to Evie by name and was aware that my subsequent pregnancies were my second and third - I had already given birth to a baby but she sadly was no longer with us.

Each and every member of staff we encountered deserves praise and thanks but I would like to include here the nomination for the Johnson's Midwife of the Year which I have completed for Angela Angus:

"Angela delivered my son, William, in 2009 and my daughter, Martha, in July 2012. Sadly, I had also given birth to a stillborn baby, Evelyn Hannah, in December 2007. Thanks to the ‘teardrop sticker’ on the front of my thick folder of notes, Angela knew at a glance that my pregnancies were out of the ordinary and tainted with fear and loss without needing to ask intrusive or difficult questions. She always spoke about Evie by name and referred to my subsequent babies as my “second” and “third”; she didn’t try to erase the past like so many non-medical people I spoke to did. Angela was compassionate, caring and mindful of the terror with which I approached giving birth having previously given birth to a baby who never opened her eyes or took that first magical breath.

During the long night of my induced labour Angela was in charge of a busy maternity ward but she somehow managed to divide her time between my husband and me, and the other, less experienced midwives who needed her guidance and advice. She was there every second we needed her, whilst knowing when we needed rest or a private moment. She somehow managed to second-guess every stage of my labour providing wise advice on pain relief and predicting the time Martha was born to within 3 minutes! She was calm but firm and talked me through the final stages of pushing. In my head, I never ever believed I would give birth to a live baby so when it came to push, panic set in as I was convinced deep down that this was the moment my baby would die. Angela dealt with my terror and ensured that both of my living children arrived swiftly and safely. We can never thank her enough. "

We will forever be grateful to everyone involved with antenatal care at Stafford.

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Responses

Response from Head of Patient Experience, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Hannah

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am delighted that you received such excellent support and reassurance from Angela Angus. Your feedback has been shared with Angela and the Lead of Midwifery tells me that she is overwhelmed by your kind words.

I hope that you are all well and not having too many sleepless nights.

Kind Regards

Angela Grocott

Head of Patient Experience