"Overworked midwives who ignore patient-centred..."
About: John Radcliffe Hospital John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford OX3 9DU
Posted by Louise- mother of 2
What I liked
I had to have a planned cesearean. The anesthetist was patient and reassuring and the other nurses and doctors involved in the operation behaved professionally.
What could be improved
After the operation I was on the observation ward. I found the midwives rushed and unsupportive. I was told I would be moved at some point in the night and so struggled to sleep thinking each time they approached they would be moving me to another floor.
Once I was on the general ward (moved at 4am) my daughter cried loudly, she did not want to feed and I was unable to soothe her by walking (due to the c-section). I had no idea of the size of the ward nor the patient/staff ratio so I asked a midwife if she could help me settle my baby as I was worried we were disturbing the others. She laughed and said she wasn't paid to do that.
I was later asked if I wanted to self-medicate- to which I agreed- I was then given packets of tablets with the times written on them- I then barely saw a member of staff and could not see a clock so struggled to know if I was keeping to the appropriate times.
When they did the peadiatrician check, a midwife just took my baby and walked off with her not explaining where she was going - I rushed after her, finding it hard to keep up due to my difficulty walking. I then had to wait in a corridor with my daughter and as I had had no time to change I found I was wearing a nightie with blood on the back - this was embarassing.
When I finally left the ward I was given a pack of injections I was meant to self-administer - no one asked if I was comfortable doing this and the person who signed me out appeared to believe someone had previously explained what they were to me. I didn't take them.
I had been part of a foetal growth study at the JR and one of the research team's requests was that I contact them within 24 hours of the birth so my daughter could be measured. I did not have a phone but showed a midwife the bleep number for the team-she refused to contact, saying it wasn't "urgent".
Also on leaving not a single midwife looked up to say goodbye nor acknowleged me in any way.
Overall - they made a wonderful experience feel pretty miserable, quite in contrast to the birth I had had 3 years before in a different hospital.
I had heard good things about the JR and was looking forward to giving birth there. The staff who carried out the planned cesearean operation did a very good job but the midwifery care afterwards was rude and impersonal and I could not wait to get home.