"Degrading postnatal care."
About: Watford General Hospital Watford General Hospital Watford WD18 0HB
What I liked
Antenatal and post-op care was great. I had elective section for breech presentation. During surgery my fantastic anaesthetist explained everything clearly and gave running commentary which made the procedure feel less like an operation and more like a delivery of a baby.
Midwives who looked after me on delivery suite post-op were attentive and friendly.
What could be improved
My experience of the maternity ward went downhill after transfer to post natal on Katherine Ward.
The ward was extremely hot - it was around 33 degrees and opening windows while possible was supposedly not permitted. It was also extremely busy - midwives on duty at night took ages to answer the phones or requests for assistance, the impact of this being difficulty sleeping due to constant noise (whether from the ringing or babies crying while mothers waited for assistance). My baby slept on me as I could not wait 5-10 mins each time he cried in his cot for someone to bring him to me.
Midwife who turned up at 11pm to remove catheter was unfriendly and somewhat rude, claiming hospital policy to leave it for 12hrs only. Why have hard rule when so understaffed that midwives simply cannot support mother after c-section to get out of bed?
Due to how busy ward was, waited ages for pain relief on first night. Initially only offered paracetamol +codeine, had to request oramorph (only knew it existed as anaesthetist mentioned previously). On subsequent occasion diclofenac offered, and then missed on next round as not prescribed in notes!
On morning of discharge told that needed to get sign off from doctor for take home meds. Unfortunately there is only one doctor, and a very busy ward. Was not discharged until 5pm despite being ready since 10am.
On day of discharge had to wait
The post-natal ward is woefully understaffed and it feels like midwives want you to see this and complain.
Friends who have used the ABC have had great experience - perhaps the staffing on the midwife led unit is better?