"My experience was a nightmare."
About: Wansbeck Hospital Wansbeck Hospital Ashington NE63 9JJ
What I liked
I did not like any of my experience. This hospital ruined the birth and first few days with my baby
What could be improved
I felt like throughout my labour, which was 3.5 days long, I was not treated with dignity, I was not informed what was happening, I was not given any choices, I was handled like a piece of meat. My problems started when I contacted the department after two days in labour, I was informed that as I could speak I couldn't be in labour. The midwife informed me not to visit the department as they were too busy to check whether I was in labour. At this point I hadn't slept for two nights and was in alot of pain. This was also my first baby so I was petrified. After another night and day without sleep I contacted the department again as my contractions were 5 minutes apart, my waters had broken and the pain severe. We were allowed to go onto the ward. After an examination I was informed that there was no room so I may have to go home. Two midwifes failed to diagose pre-eclampsi despite high levels of protein in my urine and severly swollen hands and feet. It wasn't until they were about to discharge me again that the blood tests came back. In total I was there for 5 hours until they would admit me, during this time I was not given any pain relief despite begging for gas and air. I was told that my waters hadn't completely broken, so this was done artificially, I was asked to check for meconium, which can indicate a distressed baby. I showed the waters to a member of staff who said to leave it for someone else to check. THe waters were brown, meaning my son was distressed, no-one checked despite mentioning it to three members of staff. My babies heart rate was not good on two methods of checking but despite this no action was taken. The next morning at 9am, after 16 hours on the unit I was allowed an epidural. Then a consultant rushed in saying they needed to take blood from the babies scalp. No-one explained why this would be necessary or how it would be done. Finally after four rounds of this the room filled with people to deliver my baby with forceps.
I was then told my baby should have been born by emergency section but all the theatres were full. Luckily my baby was born safe and healthy but the nightmare was not over. I was given any skin to skin contact with my baby and was not given the chance to breast feed despite wanting to. I was pulled about my a midwife who was trying to get me to use a bed pan but I wasn't prepared to do this in a room full of people. They then despite not having consent gave me a catheter. I was then left until late that night in a delivery room, unable to go to my baby when he needed fed or cleaned. When I was moved onto the ward I asked for help with breastfeeding, this continued for the 2 days I was on the ward. I total 17 different members of staff grabbed me and forced my breast into my babies mouth. No-one gave me any constructive advice and I was informed that the breast feeding co-ordinator was busy with other mothers. I asked the next day to be discharged. Upon discharge my baby became jaundiced due to dehydration. A community midwife advised me why I was not easily able to breastfeed and advised that formula may be a better solution.
I will be having my next baby at the RVI as I have heard many more nightmare stories from Wansbeck. Many women who have made official complaints to the trust have received a generic response in letter format.