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Horrible and irrelevant information on maternity notes.

(26 Posts)
Reality Wed 15-Jun-11 22:32:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StealthPolarBear Wed 15-Jun-11 22:34:48

Has she raised that with the midwife?
Can you go with her maybe, for support if she feels as though she will be seen as a 'troublemaker'?

WinkySlink Wed 15-Jun-11 22:41:04

Sorry i have no advice Reality, but im guessing responses can be completely subjective. I have a friend of a friend who acknowledged to her midwife that she had taken cocaine recreationally a few times in the past, and social services were waiting when her baby was born...she had to wait an hour whilst they looked the baby over...WTF?
One would hope that medical professsionals would be able to deal rationally with su h disclosures, rather than responding in a hysterical manner at such a vulnerable time...surely that must discourage honesty?
Since hearing of my friend of friend's experience, i would always counsel against people being open about drug use, unless they were currently using and they or their baby would need support. Sad really, as i think we are all adults, and it would be good to feel that we can be open with medics, rather than feeling policed by them.

PeterSpanswick Wed 15-Jun-11 22:41:09

That is shocking - can't see why any of that info would be relevant to her situation now as it was so long ago, especially since she has had a problem-free pregnancy since!

Did she volunteer all this herself or was it listed in her medical notes? Perhaps she could contact the hospital direct and speak to someone about the information held and whether it needs to be recorded on her pregnancy notes this time when it wasnt deemed necessary during her last pregnancy.

Reality Wed 15-Jun-11 22:41:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reality Wed 15-Jun-11 22:43:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reality Wed 15-Jun-11 22:44:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StealthPolarBear Wed 15-Jun-11 22:59:57

Not in the same league, but the MW managed to tick I had a tattoo, which I corrected her in a later appointment. I didn't see how it mattered, but presumably if they asked the question it must have some bearing somehow...
She just crossed it out.

WinkySlink Wed 15-Jun-11 23:03:26

Sorry Reality I dont mean to scare you or your sister, and I would imagine that this was a particularly heavy handed approach, as Im sure many others on here would have raised this issue before if it was common. It would appear that the difference between your experience and that of your sister would attest to that, and I understand your concerns for her, whereas I would feel more relaxed in your own case.
I would hasten to add that this was the only such case I have heard of, so assume it was uncommon, but I guess that people bring their own set of morals to their professsional positions. I'm not sure what the professional guidelines would recommend in cases like those you have mentioned, but would try to find out without addressing your case or your sister's, as you might not wish to draw too much attention in case its viewed as a case of 'the lady doth protest too much'.
It would be interesting to canvass opinions of others who have made similar disclosures.

StealthPolarBear Wed 15-Jun-11 23:04:40

I wonder if it was a fairly new and over-zealous midwife?
Not that I'm saying this stuff shouldn't go on the notes, I think it should, but not in that scary way.

WinkySlink Wed 15-Jun-11 23:05:26

Stealth could it be that tattoos are relevent wrt blood borne infections such as HIV etc? Im not sure, because i think expectant mothers are tested for Hiv anyway, but that could be the reasoning.

StealthPolarBear Wed 15-Jun-11 23:09:51

yes, probably something like that. I really couldn't see how it would be important but decided that wasn't my judgement to make.

fsuth Wed 15-Jun-11 23:10:58

Under the data protection act anyone can ask for factual inaccuracies in their record to be rectified or deleted. To do this it is probably best to write to the complaints department or information governance manager of the trust, describing why you consider the information is irrelevant or inaccurate.

However, if the organisation that is providing the care is satisfied that the entries represent a valid professional opinion then this information will stay in the records. So I would suggest making it clear in the letter, that if the information cannot be corrected or removed then you/your sister would like your views on these statements recorded.

Hope this helps.

Stase Wed 15-Jun-11 23:11:56

Wow, slightly over-zealous on the MWs part! <understatement>
On my notes it says "Mild Pysch Dist, 2 years ago, not current". Which is fine, except that it was 'two years ago' when I was first pregnant 5 years ago, so current 7 years ago. I kept the recreational drug use quiet too, I don't feel it has any bearing in my life since kids.
This needs to be sorted out though, so that your Sis doesn't have to explain it to every Health Professional she comes across. Second the idea of going with her to see this or another MW. If it's only her first appt, maybe they can just start again? If she gets a similarly Draconian, unsympathetic MW it might prejduice her care.
I think some mention of MH is useful on your notes though. I think it'll help me to have someone else aware of the possibility of PND should it recur.
I hope she can get it rewritten in a way she's comfortable with!

Stase Wed 15-Jun-11 23:13:20

I think the tattoo question is to do with Mercury which is used to keep the ink in place. Could be wrong though... HIV test is standard these days however you answer that question I think.

StealthPolarBear Wed 15-Jun-11 23:15:22

hep C(??) then, if done somewhere dodgy?

eurochick Wed 15-Jun-11 23:22:45

I think the tattoo Q is related to infection/HIV risk. You can't give blood for a year after having a piercing or a tattoo so the Q could be there for the same reason. Or it could be to do with the ink.

The "past pregnancies: drug abuse" comment needs to be removed immediately. It is inaccurate from what you say and is the kind of thing that will start social services poking around I would expect. And she needs to communicate to the midwife that it is not helpful to have stuff so far in the past and irrelevant to her current situation plastered over her notes. It's one thing noting it on there but putting it in several places makes it seem like it is more of an issue than it is.

NigellaLawless Thu 16-Jun-11 09:24:41

Winky I am sure you are just passing on what has been told to you, but as a child protection social worker who has under taken a number of prebirth assessments and birth removals (placing a child in foster care as soon as they are discharged form hospital) I seriously question your friend of a friend's story!

Firstly we do not 'look over' babies when they are born to check them for anything, that is solely the job of health professionals as SWs have zero medical trining.

Also a referal from a midwife regarding a pregnant mother admitting to occassional recreational drug use prior to pregnancy would not result in SWs simply turning up at the birth. We operate under very closley prescribed sets of procedures and if there were concerns about an unborn child's safety there would have been an assessment carried out of the mother and her abilities to meet the child's needs prior to the birth (or as soon as the referal was made, if it was made in late stages of pregnancy/labour)

I would hate anyone to be too afraid to be honest with their heath care providers about their past for fear that Children's Services are going to sweep in and remove their children!!!!

It simply does not happen that way!!!

SelinaDoula Thu 16-Jun-11 09:33:05

Reality
It might be a good idea for yoyr sister to contact AIMS
www.aims.org.uk/
Thayhave a phone line and I know they have been involved with cases relared to MH erroneous disclosures etc
Also she could contact a supervisor of midwives to discuss her care.
Selina

elgoldenflower Thu 16-Jun-11 09:50:53

I think this highlights the lack of understanding of mental health. I work in mental health in the voluntary sector and have a long history myself although been recovered for a good 5 yrs. I'm still being treated strangely, my midwives seem to feel the need to remind me over and over again that we only know baby's healthy when we check the heartbeat and anything could go wrong at any time - like I don't know this as a pregnant woman with a brain.

They seem to think that they are preparing me for something going wrong - so it doesn't affect me as much ?!!? They have no comprehension that depression is a state where you expect everything to go wrong, and that you're completely unworthy of anything positive happening and that I work very hard to stay away from that and maintain hope in life. Complete ignorance.

Don't have any advice really although your sister could make a complaint.

elgoldenflower Thu 16-Jun-11 09:50:53

I think this highlights the lack of understanding of mental health. I work in mental health in the voluntary sector and have a long history myself although been recovered for a good 5 yrs. I'm still being treated strangely, my midwives seem to feel the need to remind me over and over again that we only know baby's healthy when we check the heartbeat and anything could go wrong at any time - like I don't know this as a pregnant woman with a brain.

They seem to think that they are preparing me for something going wrong - so it doesn't affect me as much ?!!? They have no comprehension that depression is a state where you expect everything to go wrong, and that you're completely unworthy of anything positive happening and that I work very hard to stay away from that and maintain hope in life. Complete ignorance.

Don't have any advice really although your sister could make a complaint.

swanker Thu 16-Jun-11 10:05:28

I had this with my 2nd pg- I don't think the mw actually listened to a word I said at my booking appointment.
I had depression as a young adult- over 10 years prior to my pg, but she still referred me to a Psych consultant hmm

When I turned up the consultant was as confused as I was tbh, and was happy after a 5 minute chat about my history that all would be well.

Nothing had been flagged with my first pg 3 years earlier hmm

She was a crap mw all the way through pg tbh- can your sister change her mw?

nunnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:10:37

I think I understand why they ask about previous depression history etc, could it be that there is an increased risk of depression during and after pregnancy? However I have no idea why it differs so much from midwife to midwife.
I have worked in mental health but on the forensic side so have a little understanding of mental health problems.
Also I suffered PND when with my 1st, my family history is quite bleak when it comes to suicides. I also had an eating disorder myself which hasn't really been an issue since my late teens until now during my 3rd pregnancy and I luckily know there is something brewing that I am trying to take control of before it goes too far.
My midwife hasn't asked me even though I have filled out my notes with all the relevant information in answer to the questions, she looked and has written nothing and said nothing.

I don't understand why with some it is so relevant that it warrants notes marked with alert etc and to others they don't even mention it.

I think your sisters midwife has gone a little too far and if any information is inaccurate then your sister needs to either speak with the midwife and request her to remove the inaccurate information, or contact the hospital complaints department and ask them what their complaints procedure is in regards to this and follow that.

nunnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:11:54

Oh and agree with swanker your sister should be able to tranfer to another midwife.

Isthreetoomany Thu 16-Jun-11 12:16:29

I agree your sister should be transferred to another midwife. And she should certainly get the completly inaccurate comment about drug use in past pregnancies removed.

Like nunnie, I had an ED many years ago, and was fine with my first two pregnancies but am now struggling again with my 3rd pregnancy. I didn't tell my midwife at my booking appt as I didn't feel I could. But I have since been to see my GP who has suggested I see her regularly. The GP did not feel that I even need to tell my midwife unless I want to - the GP is going to weigh me regularly and as long as I am managing ok she has said there is no need to disclose the info to the midwife unless I want to. I was surprised she took that view though.

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