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Community Midwife Care

(13 Posts)
groceries Fri 04-Mar-11 11:51:08

I am 41 weeks pregnant with my first baby and although I feel my pregnancy has gone really well, I have been disappointed with the care I have received from my Community Midwives. Firstly, at our 11 weeek scan our baby was diagnosed with Cystic hygroma which turned out to resolve itself by my 20 week scan. I have had no support from my midwife at all. I can never get through on the phone either. When I have gone in to the practice for Ante Natal appointments, they don't seem to be interested in how I am either or discussing anything. Just recently, my Doctor at the hospital whilst booking me in for induction next week, suggested I have a membrane sweep with my community midwife. I tried to call yesterday, but was told there are no appointments until the 15th and that was the end of that. So we have had to go private, which is probably going to be much better anyway, but it proves that what I am being offered at present is really not good enough and totally inaccessible care,.

solooovely Fri 04-Mar-11 12:29:35

Who can you complain to?

As for your sweep I'd go back to the hospital and explain that you are getting NO care from the community midwives so they will have to do it for you there.

I had a horrible community midwife and wanted to complain but never got around to it, really regret it!

Tangle Fri 04-Mar-11 12:47:02


Its a sad fact that the NHS is stretched, MWs are stretched and CMW's have a huge amount of work to do in very little time. I think in the general scheme of things our CMW did a good job - but we were always conscious that the time she had available was very limited and so did not feel we could ask as many questions or pursue queries as we might like to. At 36 weeks we switched to IMs and the difference in the level of care they were able to provide was astounding.

If you wish to complain, the starting point would be the Supervisor of Midwives or Head of Midwifery at the hospital that supplies your CMW service. If that doesn't get you anywhere then PALS at the hospital may be able to help. Or take advice from AIMS.

Sorry you're finding things less than ideal, groceries, but hope the birth goes smoothly for you

PinkElephant73 Fri 04-Mar-11 16:37:28

who told you there were no appointments until the 15th?

just a thought that your CMWs antenatal clinic appointments may be fully booked, but she may still be able to do a home visit, if you can speak to her directly to arrange - mine did for a sweep when I was 41 weeks. do you have a mobile number for her?

whostolemyname Fri 04-Mar-11 17:46:27

You can make an appointment with the GP for an antenatal check up and a sweep if the midwife has no appointments availiable.

gallicgirl Fri 04-Mar-11 22:37:04

If you're not happy then you need to write to the head of midwifery at the local health authority.

Cookie51 Tue 12-Jul-11 12:24:04

I agree community midwifes care is awful, have always mixed up my appointments when I specifically booked the first appointment each time but more importantly they just didn't want to answer my questions and concerns about my previous birth and whether or not to go for vbac or elective caesarian this time. In the absence of any obvious medical reason for elective caesarian, surely they should be helping me to make this decision? I stress not making the decision for me, but supporting me with questions and concerns I might have? I've seen a different midwife each time who don't seem bothered in anything except the basic checks, and didn't tell me for 4 weeks after a blood test I needed iron tablets. I've only been allowed to see my "named consultant" at the hospital twice and I'm now 38 weeks - is this all normal for the NHS? I'm shocked as I've never been seriously ill and kind of expected in my time of need (birth of 2 children) the care would be a lot better than I've experienced!

marylou242 Tue 12-Jul-11 13:55:33

I agree groceries, the community midwives around here don't have time for you either. I couldn't get an appointment for a sweep either, and if I hadn't been able to go to the (out of area) birth centre I was booked into, I wouldn't have got one.

I won't go into how awkward they were when I refused to be induced. Fortunately I went into labour 10 days overdue, I don't see how they would have managed to monitor me daily like they are supposed to do if I went over 12 days late.

The postnatal care was rubbish as well. Only 3 visits in the first 10 days and only two of those were by a midwife, one by 'healthcare assistants'. I didn't think this was enough. Oh yes, and one of them wasn't even a visit. They were short staffed and couldn't come out to us so we had to take our 4 day old baby to the clinic.

Hope all goes well for you privately. It sounds a lot better but you shouldn't have to pay to get decent treatment.

thursday Tue 12-Jul-11 23:54:07

i was very lucky with my community mw care, in 2 different areas. saw the same MW 90% of the time and always had time for me. gutted the first one wasnt there for my birth, thrilled the second one wasnt tbh but she still did her job despite her clearly found my 'liking to know things' irritating. i know its dreadful in some areas but just wanted to say it's not always.

nannyl Wed 13-Jul-11 08:51:07

I must be the only one who has had fab care from my community midwife(s) then
saw at 5 / 9 / 13 weeks and every 3 weeks since.... my 1st uncomplicated pregnancy! (now 31 weeks)
Im always in there at least 20 mins (15 min appt) and i feel like they really look after me, and i never feel rushed.

Always see the same person apart from twice when she was on holiday and i saw the one who covers her when she is away. There are 5 community midwives in the team, and i'll get 2 at my home-birth, and id love it to be one (or ideally both) of the ones who have looked after me so well since 5 weeks pg!

owlbooty Wed 13-Jul-11 09:24:17

I've had fantastic CMW care from a single MW all the way through - I too have never felt rushed and have had a few sneaky bonus appointments as my MW runs a drop in session that doesn't require booking in advance. The one time I needed a check up at the hospital the community team got me an appointment that day. I know that in my area the MW teams are horribly overstretched as the birth rate has doubled but the number of MWs has remained static - this seems to be how it is all over the country unfortunately but it's not an excuse for crap care which is what you've had.

I would definitely complain and either get a home visit for your sweep or go to the hospital unless you're already set up with and IM who is able to do it - it's not a case of booking an appointment months in advance, you can't plan for this sort of thing and it is not on to tell you there are no appointments. Apart from anything else, if you make a fuss now, you may save some other poor woman having to go through the same hassle - and if the department receive enough complaints they may look at how they are structuring their services and make a better job of it.

groceries Thu 11-Aug-11 13:50:55

I am in the process of complaining at the moment. Mostly about my birth experience, which in some parts was horrendous. I would recommend Consultant-led birthing centres, the care I received was somewhat better and more focused on supporting me. However I asked to be transferred (from the Midwife-led Unit) earlier, but my requests fell on deaf ears at the time. They have a duty of care to mums and babies regardless of whether they are short-staffed or not. There are guidelines that clearly state the standards of care which women are supposed to be offered whilst giving birth. I am a registered nurse myself, its just not a defence to say they are short of Midwives. They are short of CARING midwives...

mamadoc Thu 11-Aug-11 14:09:12

The service in our area was 'reorganised' (in fact cut) during my pregnancy. From having a named midwife attached to the GP practice who I liked and trusted I was switched to a team working from the Surestart centre at 39 weeks!
I had one postnatal visit at home then my next appt was 10 days later at the clinic for the heel prick test and I had to ring to make my own appt. Then I had one more clinic visit basically for them to discharge me.
If I had needed help inbetween I had a number to call which was an answerphone where messages were picked up once a day. Anything more urgent we are expected to call the GP. As if the GP knows anything about breastfeeding problems.
They actually lost my baby's heel prick test and it had to be done again. I think this was because they would have to go to the GP surgery to get it sent off. Of course it was impossible to communicate with anyone about this because I could only speak to the bloody answerphone.
I also did not feel comfortable trying to improve my latch or get my stitches checked at the Surestart centre with a queue of school mums waiting outside the window. (The curtains were drawn but I knew they were there!)
Service improvement my arse!

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