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AIBU to want to raise a complaint about midwives?

(66 Posts)
Ashedload Tue 05-Jun-18 07:07:08

To explain, 34 weeks into second pregnancy. Hospital appointment yesterday at 11am for extra monitoring due to worries with growth. We were not seen until 2pm due to backlog, blood clinic was rammed, all that you’d expect of course and we were a little flustered with a cross, bored toddler and the worry that our LO isn’t thriving as he should.

We were told anyway that he has declined in weight again anyway and we need to prepare for early intervention; so twice weekly heart monitoring and steroid injections. Bit of a panic due to PND based on really traumatic labour with first.

Husband went home with LO while I was on tracing to check heartbeat as she had already been there all day and it was unfair. He was going to pick me and my sister up when we were done.

We were put in an assessment unit and five minutes into my trace a midwife came in and started a screaming argument with the head midwife who was overseeing my care. It got very heated and went on and on, really shouting at one another about laziness, no support and work ethic of the head midwife. Eventually the first midwife walked away still shouting and the head midwife started to really cry, shouting that she couldn’t handle the situation and was going home - and she left. My sister and I were sat in the bay, I was was hooked up to the trace machine and was waiting my first steroid injection. Someone did realise I was there after an hour but it was a really awful situation to end up in and felt - I don’t know - unprofessional of them? I understand that people have conflict but maybe not in front of patients who are likely there due to worries in their pregnancy?

WIBU to have a word with someone to express this? I’m already shitting myself about health of this LO and labour. I don’t like going into it with this staff drama hanging over me. On the flip side, I can appreciate my anxiety may well make me focus on this row so if I shouldn’t say anything, so be it!

Angrybird345 Tue 05-Jun-18 07:09:52

That’s dreadful! But rather than complain, I’d be seeking assurances that it would not happen again, especially during delivery!

MeanTangerine Tue 05-Jun-18 07:11:08

I think it's important that you do. The higher-ups need to know what's going on.

Fluffypinkpyjamas Tue 05-Jun-18 07:14:01

Damn right you should complain. Those women shouldn’t be in that job. That’s bloody ridiculous. Your poor thing!

Finallybreathingout Tue 05-Jun-18 07:14:14

Call PALS this morning and they will deal with it immediately. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that on a very stressful day. flowers

MoonsAndJunes Tue 05-Jun-18 07:15:19

Go ahead, your statement will add another page to their disciplinary file. hmm Seems like you witnessed two midwives at absolute breaking point. Probably due to the utterly shit pressure the NHS has put them under. Might even give them even more incentive to get out of their thankless jobs.

knockknockknock Tue 05-Jun-18 07:17:40

While it's wrong they did that please remember that they're human and if they've got a 4 hour delay backlog then their day has obviously been very stressful - maybe something terrible had happened.

Personally I'd wait until I went back and if everything was ok staff wise I'd just put it down to them have an incredibly stressful day. If on the other hand I had any concerns it would tube then that I reported it.

fontofnoknowledge Tue 05-Jun-18 07:21:38

Sorry completely disagree. No excuse for it.. no matter the level of stress, you do not have a screaming row in front of patients. Massive lack of professionalism and discipline. Got a problem ? by all means have a row and 'tell it like it is' but NOT in front of people worrying about the life of their baby. There is no 'competition' as to who is most upset. Their stress beats whatever work pressures you have. Hands down.

Call PALS this morning and make sure this is reported.

Hercules12 Tue 05-Jun-18 07:24:31

shock of course you have to complain.

MrsCrabbyTree Tue 05-Jun-18 07:26:21

Well done MoonsAndJunes for a snarky post to a mother already feeling stressed and worried.

I do get your point but couldn't you have made it in a manner that didn't put any blame on an innocent patient. The NHS issues are not of her making.

Pippa12 Tue 05-Jun-18 07:27:12

Sounds like a hellish shift which has ended in tension and tears- highly likely neither of them had stopped for a break/drink/loo break and very occasionally the demands of the nhs feel totally overwhelming...

Saying that it is terribly unprofessional to be arguing in front of patients. I'd complain if you feel an apology would make you feel better/more secure... however i doubt you will witness anything like that again. Good luck with the remains of your pregnancy, it sounds like your being well monitored at a stressful time. Take care flowers

MyOtherUsernameisaPun Tue 05-Jun-18 07:28:06

That's absolutely terrible and so unprofessional! I don't think you would be at all unprofessional to complain.

Hope you and your baby are ok - it sounds like they're really on top of it and will make sure you ultimately have a safe delivery flowers

MyOtherUsernameisaPun Tue 05-Jun-18 07:28:25

*second unprofessional should say unreasonable!

Buzzlightyearsbumchin Tue 05-Jun-18 07:28:50

I wouldn't complain about that. Sounds like two very pressured people at absolute breaking point. We've all been there.

I can see why you would want to complain though as it was very upsetting for you.

flowers hope all goes well for you op.

Oysterbabe Tue 05-Jun-18 07:30:55

You should read This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay which documents his experience of working as a Dr in Gynaecology and Obstetrics. The pressure and stress was unbelievable. I'm surprised things like this don't happen more often.
That's said, it is unacceptable and they should have taken their dispute outside.

LifeBeginsAtGin Tue 05-Jun-18 07:35:51

Why did you attend with your DH, LO and your sister? Sounds like overload for everyone.

MoonsAndJunes Tue 05-Jun-18 07:38:22

MrsCrabby Yes, I agree, probably way too snarky.
However, the NHS is not working. Wait times are long, staffing is low.
All resources are underfunded.
I genuinely hope that if the NHS has broken these women to such an extent that they are arguing in front of patients they get out.
This is not OPs fault. It is the fault of the government. Everyone is a victim here.

Ashedload Tue 05-Jun-18 07:48:03

Thank you for all the responses.

@LifeBeginsAtGin - I wouldn’t normally but my sister is visiting from overseas and she came with me and LO, husband met us there from work because he is concerned and wanted to be there to help get information and ask any questions he has.

I don’t want to cause any further issues for the staff, honestly. I did and do have total sympathy for their position, the workload they are under. From what I saw and heard the head midwife was not busy in the unit throughout the day whereas the other midwives were extremely busy in the other side of things. The head midwife didn’t look up from texting on her phone when we got there and then wanted the midwife who brought us to go and find a syringe for her because she was too busy to go herself. I think that started it honestly.

GuntyMcGee Tue 05-Jun-18 07:49:05

Sorry you had to witness that OP, especially when already worried about your baby.

No matter how stressed out the staff were it was absolutely inappropriate and unprofessional that they had words in front of you and also inappropriate that you were left on a CTG alone for an hour with no one checking on you, and that your Steroid injection was delayed.

It does sound like they've had a hideous day by the delay and that does cause stress to staff - I work in that kind of environment and it adds so much pressure because urgent situations happen and you can't cut appointments or care to catch up, so once you're late, that's it.

Chances are they've worked through (unpaid) lunch break and will be working after their shift unpaid, but that should not mean that any patient should witness that kind of behaviour.

It's possible that this row has been building for a while and they both snapped, which is human nature, BUT this should not have played out in front of you - it should have been taken to a non-clinical area - and your care shouldn't have been delayed.

So yes, please do complain, via PALS.

Please do remember though that it is massively unlikely that you'll be in contact with these midwives when you give birth to your baby.

Mrsmadevans Tue 05-Jun-18 07:51:03

Report it . This is totally unprofessional and disgusting behaviour. Congratulations on your baby op, flowers

MoonsAndJunes Tue 05-Jun-18 07:53:26

From your update it sounds like the head midwife is lording it over her team of stressed, busy midwives.
If that is the case, there's your complaint. You witnessed an unfair division of workload.

Flamingosnbears Tue 05-Jun-18 07:54:18

Complain, they won't improve if they don't know.
Think about another hospital to give birth in.

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Tue 05-Jun-18 07:57:54

Definitely report.

If they’d realised after a heated moment what they’d done and apologised to you i’d say let it go. But the fact they didn’t, and one just left? That really calls into question their professional judgment and sounds like their awareness of what is and isn’t normal and appropriate has gone out the window.

I also can’t imagine that either of those women are operating on top form in terms of patient care if they think it’s okay to do this in front of a potentially scared and worried patient.

100% report, for everyone’s sake. You’re fine enough to come and post here about it, but imagine if it had been someone who has PTSD from birth trauma, or a violent incident, who gets set off by conflict or shouting? Or is scared of hospitals in the first place? That could influence someone to avoid medical intervention if it’s the final straw for them. I know on the surface yes, it’s just two midwives having a barney. But that shouldn’t happen around patients and could have an impact on patient wellbeing.

Can you imagine in a hospice where someone is laid dying with family around two nurses doing this? People would be up in arms. This is no different imo.

butlerswharf Tue 05-Jun-18 07:58:35

I really wouldn't put in a complaint about that.

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Tue 05-Jun-18 08:00:00

*From your update it sounds like the head midwife is lording it over her team of stressed, busy midwives.
If that is the case, there's your complaint. You witnessed an unfair division of workload.*

Disagree completely.

Witnessing an unfair division of workload isn’t something a patient knows enough about to complain. Nobody has a clue what the overall workload division is amongst a team across a week, and it’s none of a patient’s business.

Your complaint, rightly, is that staff had a shouting argument in front of you. Stick to what you’re actually complaining about and don’t make it any more complicated than it is.

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