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To expect better antenatal care than this?

(19 Posts)
makeitstop24 Tue 07-Feb-17 08:34:21

This is at UCLH maternity. Very dismayed by the whole thing.

To start, I transferred care from community midwife to uclh as midwife tried to sneakily send me to her personal acupuncture business for hyperemesis. I found out when I got a call from her and looked it up to see she also runs an acupuncturist business on the side. Not very ethical.

So at UCLH today, after queuing for 40 minutes today for midwife appointment (which I dont mind btw, I know they are busy), another staff member comes in and finally helps the poor lone receptionist dealing with the huge queue. I'm then accused of being late, told I may not see my midwife.

Get to see a midwife who has no time now, no birth plan discussed at 37 weeks (this was supposed to be an appointment for the birth plan)

Then I find out the reason I have had no referral for antenatal depression and missed appointments (that I had no idea were made) is that they have been sending my mail next door for the duration of the pregnancy. I get texts to tell me next appointments so assumed I just was not receiving paper mail and they are run off their feet so communication sucks a bit.

My GD test consisted of me running there with hyperemesis, smashing my leg open on escalator (from low blood sugars I now know) to not actually get the drink until 11am, by which time I'm horrendously sick and in severe hypoglycemic attack.

So in all, find out today I did not find out about low iron, have missed pyschologist appointment, was not told about possible infection until yesterday, missed birth prep, have had no birth plan and then punished with a bitchy midwife for being late when I have always been on time.

Very concerned about giving birth at this hospital and put off ever having more children as the stress has been too heavy.

Is this normal maternity care now? First baby so freaking out that my life is in their hands. Do not feel very safe.

Please say their birth care is more professional than this!

Cheby Tue 07-Feb-17 08:50:23

Not normal in the slightest! Are you on mat leave now? I'd cancel any plans you have and go and sit in the PALS office in the hospital until they sort this unholy mess out for you today.

You are lucky being in London, there's a lot of choice (I was for last baby). If you don't get a decent resolution, you could consider going to a different hospital. You can change at any time, and you can self refer, but obviously at 37 weeks you do need to act ASAP. You could try and ring another hospital and ask about a VERY urgent booking appointment, explaining the situation?

Good luck!

minipie Tue 07-Feb-17 08:51:22

Oh dear. That doesn't sound great sad but it sounds like almost all of this is down to them having been sending paperwork to the wrong address? So it's really just one error (that has led to lots of different problems, I realise, but still just one error originally iyswim). And that might have been the GP's error rather than theirs...?

UCLH have a good reputation for birth care - especially if you have anything high risk or complex - so I think I would stick with them. Not sure any of the other N London hospitals would be better in all honesty.

So what are they doing to fix things? Did you test positive for GD and if so have you had advice/treatment for that? What have they recommended for low iron and have you now discussed a birth plan?

makeitstop24 Tue 07-Feb-17 08:52:18

To balance this out, A&E excellent. Partner broke his ankle and bloody amazing care!

Not sure about medical care for something as serious as pregnancy though.

makeitstop24 Tue 07-Feb-17 09:00:33

I'm on maternity leave. Not sure if any hospital is better then this as I know they are all under immense pressure. Just hoping the medical team know their stuff when it comes to it as very concerned.

The midwife did not say a thing, no apologies from anyone. In fact I was blamed for being late again, and it was mentioned that I could of seen a counsellor at any time. Very bad attitude.

I have had good midwives tho (two of the three I have seen there) so its not all bad, but my god!

I have never seen a hospital punish a patient for their own lateness! I would of been okay if I had pushed in, but its not my nature to be like that

DianaMemorialJam Tue 07-Feb-17 09:03:11

The waiting is usual, when I had mine appointments were often running over an hour late. But you weren't late! And that's not on that they didn't organise a birth plan for you if that's what you wanted. I hope you have better care during the birth op, congratulations

makeitstop24 Tue 07-Feb-17 09:03:46

I was also told growth is a little low today so I have a scan and another appointment to confirm some sort of infection in two weeks (guessing its a uti and treating with cranberry as i cant wait that long and go into labour with a possible infection), the whole thing seems a little late and very lax.

Thanks for all advice. I will be onto PALs today

DianaMemorialJam Tue 07-Feb-17 09:16:17

I really hope it's nothing serious and you have a smooth end of pregnancy op

moggle Tue 07-Feb-17 09:23:36

Can you call your GP about the UTI? I'm sure there must be some antibiotics you can take in pregnancy? When I've had cystitis they've always managed to take a sample and confirm the bacteria in a couple of days and started me on antibiotics in the meantime (switching if another was needed after bacteria type confirmed). May be the kind of thing you can see a nurse about so might be able to get an appointment quicker? (clutching at straws possibly...)

BabyHamster Tue 07-Feb-17 09:33:02

It's certainly not what's supposed to happen but unfortunately I did find antenatal care to be very hit and miss (this was at another London hospital though, not UCLH).

Try and stay calm and be pushy (in a polite way) if needed. If you're not sure why the follow up appointment and scan is two weeks away then make sure you ask and get reassurance. My uneducated guess is it means they're not overly worried about the issue but they need to be communicating with you.

You will probably find that care at the birth itself is better as it is more immediate and less reliant on efficient admin!

I have to say I didn't find postnatal care that great either, though, so be prepared for that. I'm sorry as that's probably not what you want to hear but I wish people were more honest about it so that mothers have realistic expectations.

I did complain after my experience and sent a list of things I thought could be done to improve things, some of which have actually been implemented (or so they told me). It is worth doing.

DJBaggySmalls Tue 07-Feb-17 09:36:53

You can talk to PALS without actually making a complaint, and they can pass the info on flowers

minipie Tue 07-Feb-17 12:01:44

Yes, postnatal care is generally pretty patchy in all the big London hospitals.

One tip - it looks like UCLH has amenity rooms, i.e. private post natal rooms. As soon as you have given birth (!) you or your DP should ask if one is available, and if not then keep asking, they are not pre bookable but you might be lucky. Makes an enormous difference.

When you speak to PALs, do mention the specific nasty midwife (as much detail as you can so they can identify her). There can be unfortunate errors but that's just plain unnecessary nastiness.

makeitstop24 Tue 07-Feb-17 23:47:35

Thank you everyone smile I feel a lot more at ease now. Especially thank you for the advice.

I have already complained to the head midwife and am going to request a scan sooner than 39 weeks tomorrow to put my mind at ease that the cord is not blocking oxygen or anything sinister.

I'm also going to request a water birth as I'm having the thought that they will tell me it's too late to request one at 39 weeks.

All in all, just really very scared and could of used some decent care throughout to ease the anxiety.

BurntBaconQuiche Wed 08-Feb-17 00:01:26

Hi OP, sorry you are having such a bad experience. I gave birth in another large London hospital and postnatal care was not great. Keep your partner next to you, I sent mine home and regretted it.

Please report the midwife. She tried to push a personal business and also the "treatment" she was offering has no scientific evidence of working beyond being a placebo. All v unethical.

If you want a detailed scan of your baby to put your mind at ease, I recommend The Fetal Medicine Centre. Not cheap but they spend proper time checking each an every marker on your baby. I was very pleased with their service.

www.fetalmedicine.com

Hope all goes well with your delivery x

minipie Thu 09-Feb-17 15:32:05

AFAIK it's never too late to request a water birth - you can turn up in labour and request one then. However, be aware that whether you get one will depend on (1) is there a pool available at the right time and (2) do you have any high risk factors (this may include infection depending on what it is), if you do then you won't be eligible.

Suggest you ask your next midwife to write "Would like a water birth if possible" in big letters on the front of your maternity notes - just so everyone is aware from the moment you come in.

Draylon Thu 09-Feb-17 16:37:11

Yes, it certainly sounds like 'the wrong address' has set a fair bit of this in motion! Doesn't take much, sadly. that and the desperate state of NHS finances.

Sorry to hear all about it. Did you need admitting with your smashed up leg on the escalator? That sounds horrific! I hope that doesn't scupper your water birth plans if you've got stitches or whatever.

I think you need to clarify what the 'some sort of infection' is, and not assume it's a UTI (and I'm assuming your leg wound isn't infected), and if it is a UTI,, you need something more than cranberry juice as it's been shown that drinking it to cure water-works infections is a myth.

And maybe the 39 weeks scan is timed as it is, is for a reason? To make a growth comparison? Otherwise, if it's too soon after the first scan, they won't be able to see if there's been growth or not, iyswim? When was the last one?

Why do you have a specific concern about the umbilical cord, has it been flagged up as an issue?

Anyway, hope it goes better for you from here on in!

Ihatenicknames Thu 09-Feb-17 16:57:03

I had my first baby at UCLH. It was an uncomplicated water birth and the care was amazing. However, the antenatal care was pretty dire and the postnatal care was appalling. I had a private room and was pretty much ignored for four days. It wasn't the fault of the midwives; they were rushed off their feet. I think the maternity unit is a victim of its own success and demand massively outstrips supply leading to a very mixed experience.

firawla Thu 09-Feb-17 18:24:43

I had 2 in uclh, although a few years ago now! The ante natal was very busy, quite impersonal and seemed a bit chaotic at times but I couldn't fault the care I got with the actual births there at all! I found the postnatal care pretty good too. Hopefully it can only improve now for you!

MatildaTheCat Thu 09-Feb-17 18:40:00

Midwife here. Worked in AN for years and YANBU about the midwife if she was rude. The admin sounds very under resourced and if all mail has gone to the wrong address that's a mistake that is unfortunate but must have been generated from somewhere.

I advise you to approach this with a 'what can we do to make things better?' approach. A good length mw appointment with someone senior enough to deal with your birth plan, possible infection( plus GP) and water birth request. Is it too late to see the psychologist or can it be arranged ASAP even if it's after the birth? If growth has been fine until now and your baby is moving well then do remember that full term babies vary in size a great deal so this is unlikely to be very significant. Fetal movements are a great way of monitoring well being especially in low risk pregnancy.

Have you been advised about your anaemia and treated? The hospital may have a policy on place of birth if it is severe. If you do have a UTI it should be treated as soon as, not in two weeks ( if a dip test was showing white cells nearly all come back clear).

I'm sure you will get a response and hopefully a helpful one. You do seem to have had a lot of bad luck/ experiences. I really wouldn't rush to change hospital now but be clear that you are upset and need to feel reassured that your care will improve. ( worth noting that sometimes one or two very tricky issues can take the receptionists an age to deal with especially if they are inexperienced. They are often dealing with multiple things)

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