"The Horton gave me the best care I have had..."

About: Horton General Hospital

What I liked

The staff were phenomenal. I came in in labour with pre-eclampsia, had several interventions - an induction, epidural and forceps delivery - and iduring the 60 hours I spent there, they made me feel safe and informed throughout. They constantly checked each other's work, they went beyond the call of duty to make me comfortable, and even when things were very difficult, I felt extremely well cared for. The excellent nurses, midwives and doctor who treated me made what could have been a very bad experience into one of which I actually have good memories, and will always be grateful to them.

What could be improved

the more senior clinical staff - the consultant obstetrician and anaesthetist - were not kind, were not prepared to discuss what they were doing with me, and in the case of the latter were actually rough and caused me unnecessary pain in the operating theatre, to the point where the others present intervened, and later apologised for him.

Another thing I would suggest is that although partners are allowed to sleep in the expectant mother's room when she is formally in labour, they are not if the labour is taking time to establish. I had pre-eclampsia and was afraid, and really needed my partner to be allowed to stay but this was not possible.

Anything else?

The guidelines on cesarians meant that I was not given one. However, the level of trauma and injury, and lasting damage, that occurred due to my labour meant that a cesarian would absolutely have been a better option. I urge the NHS to make its guidelines more flexible and talk to expectant mothers who are having an extremely difficult birth about the option of a cesarian.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Horton General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices. We are pleased you felt you were looked after by staff who went ‘beyond the call of duty’. We hope both you and your baby are progressing well.

We value all feedback because it enables us to highlight the areas we do well and makes us aware of areas that may need improvement. We have made all staff aware of your comments.

As you rightly say, fathers are not currently able to stay overnight unless their partners are in labour but we are looking at reviewing this in the future.

In the meantime, you may like to use the ‘Birthafterthoughts’ service which is a listening and information service available to women who have given birth within the last twelve months. You would be given the opportunity to talk over your experience with a midwife using your hospital notes. Your comments can then be fed back to the individuals involved and may help to improve our services. The contact number is 01865 220605.

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