"Good, but you can feel the impact of cost cutting..."

About: Epsom Hospital

What I liked

Care provided by staff in labour ward was excellent

Breastfeeding advice was good from midwives and their assistants in the day.

Daytime (and majority of night time) staff treated me with respect.

What could be improved

Care provided by nighttime staff in postnatal ward was hit and miss. Consistency in level of care would be brilliant.

Breastfeeding advice was good from midwives and the daytime midwife assistants. However, you have to make a nuisance of yourself (it seems!) in order to get staff to come and sit with you. This seems to be down to the staff being overworked unfortunately, rather than them being incompetent. More money for more training/more staff would be nice (but probably impossible in this financial climate).

I was in hospital for 5 days, however no staff member ever discussed why this was the case. I believe I lost a lot of blood, however no member of staff would commit to discussing this with me (I found out via my husband). I still am not fully clear as to why! Also, this was never communicated via my notes to other healthcare staff either (eg for attention of GP or health visitor). Communication between staff and patients could be improved.

My labour notes were wrong - for example, my placenta was recorded as being delivered before the baby, and my level of blood loss was recorde incorrectly. Accuracy in recording notes should be important, as other healthcare staff rely on this information when assessing the level of postnatal care required.

Importance of baby care, such as swaddling, why babies should not be left to sleep for long periods of time etc could be provided in a leaflet to new Mum's, if staff do not have the time to spend with new mum's to explain?

Anything else?

I don't agree with the policy of not allowing women in labour to come into hospital when they feel that they are in labour, even if their waters have broken. My contractions were every 2 minutes, yet the staff on the phone advised that as a first time Mum, my labour would take a while. It didn't!

From talking to other new mum's, I am not the only person this has happened to.

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Responses

Response from Epsom Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us have your feedback about the care you received from the maternity team at Epsom Hospital.

May I start by congratulating you on the birth of your baby. I hope you are both doing well and that you are enjoying motherhood.

Thank you for your kind comments about the team and for saying you would recommend us to friends and family. This is nice to know.

However, I note you have raised numerous questions and wondered if it would help for a member of our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to give you a call to discuss them and, as appropriate, get answers for you?

If so, the PALS team can be contacted by calling 01372 735243 or emailing pals@esth.nhs.uk. Further information about the PALS team is also available on our website (www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/pals).

Thank you again for your feedback.

Pippa Hart

Director of Nursing

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