"Antenatal Clinic Care at UHSM"

About: Wythenshawe Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I was appalled by the Antenatal Clinic at Wythenshawe Hospital. At each point of contact something went wrong or I encountered the most uncaring and uncompassionate midwives that caused me great distress.

Each time I had to attend the clinic, I was made to wait for excessive long periods of time with no information about how long the delays would be or why there was a delay. When I politely explained at reception I was told a 2 hour wait for an appointment was normal and to just be patient. Once I was there for a simple routine appt for over 5 hours - because they were busy. One time the reception clerk didn't book me in correctly and when I asked how long I was likely to be (because I'd been there 1 1/2 hours and my husband had to get to work) she snapped at me and told me to have a look around and I'd see how busy it was! I was so upset that my husband asked the second time and found that the receptionist hadn't booked me in correctly. A midwife was called and the instead of apologising asked me for proof that I'd gone to reception and that I had an appointment. This may not sound very important but it was so distressing at what should be a special time.

It felt as if the midwives were so busy that there was no human element or patient centred care. They barely looked up from their paper work and showed no interest in you or why you were there. I was under a consultant and each time I saw a different doctor. Not once did they read my notes and I had to be the one to tell them why I was there, having miscarried several times, this was quite upsetting. I doubt that they would have detected a problem if there had been one.

I had to show one doctor how to use the Doppler - my only training had been watching a midwife at a previous appt.

The whole experience was deeply distressing and I had zero confidence in the antenatal team. I even discussed transferring my care to St Mary's.

Also the community midwives also offered little reassurance and their hand hygiene/infection control was worrying. Each time, they took the urine sample (no gloves) tested it, then poured the sample down the handwashing sink and returned the pot for the next weeks sample! I thought I'd imagined it or it was a one off until a different midwife did the exact same thing the following week.

What was good? ? Giving birth in the delivery suite with the most fantastic midwife ever and her lovely colleague. They were amazing and contributed to a simple and easy birth. I will always be eternally grateful to them and thank them.

On the ward...I then had to stay in as I had a temperature. No one came to see me apart from the dinner lady, who was very nice.

I kept being told that it was busy and that unless there was a problem then no one would be in to see me. How did I know if there was a problem?

I thought I'd got the hang of breast feeding until at home when the community midwives pointed out that baby hadn't been latching on. No one checked or was available to assist at the hospital. I'd never done it before so I didn't realise. I was very upset as this meant baby had not only gone without but missed those vital early rich feeds.

I'd been in over 24 hours because my temperature had been high after birth but still no one had checked it. I went to find a midwife and again was told that it was busy, if I was worried then I could check it myself!

Luckily, it appears anyone can use a tympanic. My temperature was normal (I think) and I went home.

Patient centred care? Compassion? ? Clearly a busy ward and clinic but it was deeply distressing. Thank goodness for the fantastic experience on the delivery suite. (even though there was only one midwife and a support worker present at the birth when there should be two midwives - they were both amazing).

I haven't complained to anyone at UHSM because I may indeed have another baby one day but I shall make sure I avoid the antenatal clinic as much as possible.

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