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Feeling frustrated with my Antenetal care "providers"
I'm off work today with terrible back pains. I've been suffering for a few days and just need to rest (I know, I'm a wimp!) because I hardly managed to get any sleep last night so I'm probably feeling overly emotional.
Anyway, I called my surgery this morning to see whether I could get a doctor's phone call for some advice on medication (paracetamol isn't helping!) and the Receptionist said I'd need to wait until NEXT FRIDAY! More importantly, I haven't seen a midwife AT ALL (I've had 1 appointment with my GP and two with the sonographer) and I'm 24 weeks. I've been pestering my surgery for the MATB1 form because my manager leaves work next week and I want to get my maternity arrangements sorted before she goes.... The
stupid receptionist is insisting that I wait until next Friday, when my manager will already have left, but I'm trying to explain that this will be too late and it really isn't my responsibility to be pleading with her for this form (is it?!)
Am I the only one who is having to practically beg for any antenatal attention?! The last time I visited my GP he spent 5 minutes with me and sent me straight to the hospital for an ECG scan (that was about 13 weeks ago). I really should have seen a midwife by now, shouldn't I? Is the "care" particularly poor in London? I appreciate that my GP probably has 100000 patients but all I'm expecting is scheduled appointments with the right person (without having to chase and beg for weeks beforehand!!)
The back pain obviously isn't the issue here, I'm just feeling pretty disappointed that I'm being forgotten by the NHS
If you Google NICE guidelines antenatal care it has a table of when you should have appointments according to low risk/high risk first baby/subsequent babies etc.
Did your GP do your booking appointment?
I feel for you; sounds awful, have you even been given your notes/ had bloods done? I'd start calling the list of numbers and kicking up a fuss. The squeaky wheel etc.
I think you're supposed to get your MATB1 at 20 weeks. Have you got any rural friends? I moved from city to country and my lovely local doctors do sameday appointments, super HV/ antenatal care, been very keen to help out various houseguests of mine. I registered temporarily with a surgery when I was pregnant with my second and was able to access all the usual antenatal care v.quickly, might be worth considering.
My parents live on the Isle of Wight and I'm considering asking for my care to be moved there! (Is that even possible?!)
15 minutes before my first ultrasound (13 weeks) someone at the hospital (not sure whether she was a nurse, MW or sonographer) filled out my notes. I had my bloods done at the same appointment
That sounds like your booking appointment, she was almost definitely a MW. Tbh your appointments so far sound fairly standard but do check against NICE guidelines. Your notes should have a phone number for your community MW or a maternity helpline number, try contacting them about your mat b1. Btw yes it is your responsibility to chase/ask for it, many women don't require one so it isn't done automatically.
Absolutely possible to have bits of your care moved to Isle of Wight, ring their GP let them know your coming for a holiday and you'd like to book in with midwife. They'll register you temporarily as a patient (given your circumstances) and book with midwife. Have you checked the hospital local to your parents to see if it has a nice maternity?
Of course it is your responsibility to sort your form out - who else's is it?
I think your appointments sound fairly standard too.
I googled and it sounds good have a peek here
Having had my previous babies outside London I would say continuity of care is definitely somewhat lacking. I never saw the same midwife twice when pregnant which meant things like blood tests ( needed repeating as first flagged up anaemia) were missed unless I brought it up. I was pretty on top if it as thus us my 3rd but I did think that if I was a first timer it would have been stressful
It might be worth finding out if there us another clinic near you. it is only now in I have discovered from the postnatal MW visits I could have been seen at a local children's centre by the community midwives instead of in the MW clinic at my GPs surgery.
I think I'm in a minority on this thread but it does make a difference to how you feel during your pregnancy with good one to one care. It's very reassuring to be told there's nothing wrong on a regular basis by health professionals who listen and give helpful advice. Whilst I'm sure there are a gazillion other babies being born it doesn't make your pregnancy any less special and unique. If you have the option to get care elsewhere I'd use it.
I live in London & I agree with you about poor quality of care... your gp sounds exactly like mine!
You do appear to have missed an appointment at 16 weeks or did I misread?
No you shouldn't have to keep chasing hcps regarding paper work but its the reality...
Good luck. Rest & tske care of yourself.
I had my booking in with a MW at 10 weeks and i gave blood then.
Then my scan at hospital at 13 weeks. I gave blood then too, but that was for tests for baby, not me.
Then MW appt. at 16 weeks which is urine and BP check. (very brief)
Then 20 week scan at hospital. No health check, just baby scan.
25 week MW appt. for urine, BP and fundal height check + baby's heart beat listened to.
Going back for blood tests for me in 4 weeks.
I thought this was the basics.
I'm surprised you haven't seen a MW by now OP. And why cant the receptionist just hand you the bloomin' form?
Some places the 16 week check is done by the GP (I assumed this was the visit where the OP was sent for an ECG). Care does get more frequent the further on you get.
My complaint is that it's almost impossible to contact a midwife here unless you're having an emergency. Some women seem to have numbers and even be able to text their MWs. I'm very jealous - all I have is an answerphone number. Last time I left a message noone got back to me so won't bother again.
It will vary on location who does which appointments - in my area MW does standard ones and GP does extra ones for first baby.
But you should have one at booking (8-10 weeks or with scan), 16 weeks and also one at 25 weeks if its your first baby. Then its 28 weeks for every one. The schedule they have to follow is here www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/antenatal-appointment-schedule.aspx
Ring your community midwives (on your notes or Google it) and ask for your mat1b and organize your next appointment.
Sounds like I've missed the 16 week appointment somehow, and if I don't keep nagging I'll be missing other appointments too!
Thanks for the advice everyone, it's a shame that things aren't as personal as I'd hoped I'll definitely look into moving as much of my care as I can to the Isle of Wight.
Vinegar, I was 11 weeks when I saw my GP and the appointment was about blood pressure and fainting.
Julietee, I completely sympathise. The number I have for the community midwives is always on answer machine and apparently they only work 9-12 on Tuesdays (is that a good enough excuse to never call your patients back?!?)
Hope I don't think you're unreasonable to think that appointments/ forms etc would come automatically - if the dentist manages to send out an invite every few months and smear test () and flu jab apps come automatically, you'd think important maternity ones would too. But they don't.
I'm a fan of the NHS & appreciate its under immense pressure but IME so far their maternity care communication is not the best.
I agree, Kitkat! I'm not in any way Anti-NHS, I really hope I didn't come across like that.
My best friend is a nurse, step mother is a GP, auntie is a MW and another friend is a Health Visitor.
Sorry if it sounds as though I'm NHS bashing, I just expected a little more than this
Good news is... I can collect the form this afternoon at 4.40 (after I hassled the surgery all morning and made 6 phone calls)
You didn't come across like that at all Hope - I completely agree with your sentiments.
Again I appreciate they're overrun, i know their limited time & effort has to be put into caring for vulnerable mums.... but this is MY PFB!
Oh and congrats on the form!
That sounds like a poor standard of care to me.
I've seen the MW at 9, 16, 20 and 24w and will see her again next week, when I'm 28w. I saw my GP once at 7w and had scans at 7, 12, 16 & 20w. And this is my third pregnancy, so she even gave me a few more appts than strictly needed!
My MW has so far always answered her phone and sorted out any issues immediately. I've also got a sheet with all the numbers of the other MWs in her team.
The MAT B1 form is something you have to sort out yourself, but it's a matter of minutes for the surgery so there shouldn't be a hold up.
I'd recommend switching surgeries/midwives!
Joan, I'm so jealous! Sounds like you're being really well looked after
It sounds like things haven't been explained to you clearly enough. I've had to read my notes to see when I've needed to call and book an appointment ahead with the MW. It hasn't been done for me automatically. Usually there's a note from the last appointment to say next app 16/40 or 25/40, for example.
Hope this is the best MW I've ever had! She's so nice and you can tell she really cares. With my first pregnancy, my MW was awful and I really hated her. I wish I'd had the courage then to complain and/ or request to see a different MW, as it really put a dampener on the excitement over my first baby. Plus there are so many things you are unsure about with your first and you really need the reassurance and support of a good MW!
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