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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
My GPs were also flummoxed by the 'shared care' model - I did get seen by a doctor but it looked like he hasn't measured a fundal height for a few decades. Doesn't inspire confidence, does it.
Agree it's worth making a complaint OP.
Thanks Humpty! That's very useful! I'm definitely going to get in touch with PALS!
I'm so appreciative for all of your wonderful advice everyone
Hope I'm also London based, and echoing what others have said:
Booking in (10 weeks or so), 12 week scan (up to 13+6), 16 week appt with midwife, 20 week scan, 25 week appt with midwife, 31 week with midwife etc.
I was told by my antenatal clinic at the hospital that alternate MW appts would be taken by my GPs. I phoned the GPs, asked for a '16 week antenatal check', was booked in bang on the 16 week mark.
Unfortunately when I turned up for the appointment, it turns out our useless GPs surgery doesn't actually offer antenatal care. Hospital sorted it, luckily (Royal Free, Whitechapel), and were furious at the GPs for being so lame.
Also disagree with the poster who said you have to book each appointment yourself - I haven't had to. I get the next one or two booked in at each appointment.
Lastly, you need to contact PALS (Patient Advisory Liaison Service) for your NHS Trust and raise a complaint. This really isn't the standard of care you should be receiving. For one thing, you HAVE to let your work have the MAT B1 form by twenty five weeks pregnant, or potentially not get maternity pay. It's not a piece of paper you can wait for/do without. Your employer has the right to not pay maternity pay on time if you can't get them the form in time. This is your GPs being utterly shit, and I would be making a huge fuss in your shoes.
HTH, good luck.
Can you get One to One midwives in London? If so, get transferred to their care. You'll have the same mw right through pregnancy and post natal period, great personal care and all for free! Highly recommended!
I have a midwife number on the front of my notes and it always goes to message. Instead I call the hospital switchboard and get asked to be put through to the labour ward and then ask for a midwife - works everytime!
Thanks Quo, the number I have at the front of my notes is a mobile number which is always switched off, I think it's just used as an answering machine (God forbid I ever needed to see the MW urgently!)
I saw a doctor after waiting 1 hour and 45 minutes last night, but thankfully she did give me a check up to make it worth my wait. I have another UTI (probably contributing to the back pain!) and high BP again but baby is all fine so that's great.
I'm going to leave some more messages for the MW to try and get back on her rota, the GP said I should be seeing the MW this week (24wks).
Thanks again ladies
It sounds like you have slipped off the midwife system. In my notes there is a 'schedule of care' laid out (eg, booking in appt, scan 12 wks, midwife at 16 wks, scan 20 wks, GP 24 wks, midwife 28 wks, midwife 31 wks...) on one of the printed info pages. Because I book each future midwife appt at the end of the current one I can see how if you missed one appt you could fall off the system. It sounds a bit like your booking in appt was missed - it usually takes longer than 15 mins!
Aren't there numbers for your midwife clinic/team on the front of your notes? If so ring them and go through schedule of care.
I didn't get my Mat B form til my 28 wk appt by the way, but I didn't need it/ask for it til then.
Now thats just ridiculous!!!
Ask to speak to the Practice Manager unless the receptionist can give you a good explanation as to why you've been waiting so long.
Keep calm...well as calm as possible!
Honestly, I'm frustrated to tears. I've been sat in the surgery waiting for 1 hour and 25 minutes now! WAITING FOR A BL**DY FORM!!!!!!!
Can this get any worse?!?!
I've only seen a midwife twice. Firstly at booking in & then at 16 weeks. Next appointment is at 28 weeks as this isn't my first baby.
I also live in London.
I think if you need more care/support/info then of course it should be available. In a previous pregnancy I had fantastic one to one care with a brilliant midwife, that was aldo in London.
Care has been reduced dramatically since my last pregnancy over 5 years ago. Im not overly concerned but I've done this pregnancy thing a few times now!!
I do feel for 1st time or worried mums.
There definitely needs to be more consistency in Maternity services.
i've seen my midwife 5 times and am 27 weeks...i'm in london.
i think you should kick up a fuss, consider changign surgeries.
regular appts are really important for the bp/urine checks as well as keeping you informed.
Well I'm still sat in the waiting room of the doctors' surgery so no luck with the form yet.
Sounds like I need to take a bit more control, and I'm sorry some of you have experienced the same difficulties (but I'm glad I'm not alone!!). My experience of the NHS was completely different when I lived on the Isle of Wight, I suppose the doctors have less patients and are able up offer much more personal care.
I agree that Maternity care in general needs a little bit of attention.
I had similar frustrations getting 'into' the system. Despite knowing quite early on I was pregnant my doctor's surgery was next to useless at providing the right information, which meant that by the time I needed by 12 weeks scan they were damn late in getting me sorted... nearly missed the deadline! (13+6 for the Nuchal tests) Getting the hospital appt was more than frustrating, despite lots of calls and hassling - and the fact they had had my information for ages, just hadn't bothered to do anything with it.
Now I'm into the process I have much more regular check ups (roughly every 4 weeks) with the midwife for one reason or another.
I've been lucky enough to have private medical cover for the last decade or so so getting used to the NHS service (or lack of) was a real shock. Just a shame it doesn't cover maternity - I don't have a spare £20k lying around to pay for it myself :S
Glad it sounds as things are getting sorted for you
You have to phone and make the appointments yourself, they are not automatically booked for you.
Make sure you phone way ahead of when you need them as well, I found it would take weeks before they could fit me in.
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!
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.
Joan, I'm so jealous! Sounds like you're being really well looked after
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!
Oh and congrats on the form!
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!
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)
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.
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?!?)
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