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Why do midwives lie on your notes?

(153 Posts)
banana87 Tue 08-Nov-11 20:02:18

Saturday night I went to hospital because I was having contractions, 7 min apart and had a huge wet patch in my underwear. Nothing came of it and I was sent home.

I've just read my notes and MW wrote:

Fundal height 42cm (she never measured me!!)
Mild contractions (my ass)
Fluid size of 50p in underwear ( most of my underwear is the size of a 50p??)

Then tonight I saw my consultant. He wrote:

Fundal height 39cm (never measured)
No contractions ( I specifically said I've been having contractions on and off)


paddypoopants Wed 09-Nov-11 12:40:44

The pyschic fundal height measurement - it's amazing how many hp can do this. I had 2 community midwives, one of whom measured the other just made it up. Seems innocuous except it meant that I appeared to have grown 4 cms in 2 weeks resulting in blood tests, extra appointments, etc- all because one woman made up the measurement and the other wouldn't believe it.

KellyKettle Wed 09-Nov-11 12:55:51

My last NHS MW appointment age wrote "FHH" when actually she couldn't find the heartbeat with her sonicaid. She was searching for ages and eventually said "there, can you hear that?". I said no. She replied "yes, it's there, very faintly". I said I couldn't hear it and she just put it away. No actual heart rate recorded.

I wasn't too worried because I could feel baby moving but my independent midwife came over and checked for me.

I cancelled all NHS appointments after that. Completely lost faith.

CGall Wed 09-Nov-11 14:23:42

This is really frightening that this happens, because of all the recent stories about poor midwife units, this sounds like the real truth isn't getting out at all, because if courts are then reading false notes then they will believe these and what actually happens is a completely different than the notes.

I will try and remember to keep an eye on my notes when it comes to it

hawthers Wed 09-Nov-11 14:35:57

i'm anal thorough so always read my notes after appts to check what they say. its definitely worth querying/checking anything that doesn't seem to be true.

having said that my DH is a solicitor which is mentioned on the first page of my notes. seems to help keep most of the HCPs on the straight and narrow - so perhaps it might be worth lying about improving ones occupation to ensure that everything is recorded accurately.

HappyCamel Wed 09-Nov-11 14:51:35

I had a 3 hour first labour. NW would occasionally check on me, svcribble in the notes and then leave. I was supposed to be there for monitoring and they didnt believe I was in labour, apparently I dont complain enough.

Not only were my notes a total work of fiction but MW was writing in them with her back to me as I delivered DD on to the bed. Oddly that didn't make it into my notes either!

mrsrvc Wed 09-Nov-11 14:55:08

I am amazed at this thread. I sadly have had to use my pregnancy notes as a legal document in the inquest into my sons death which resulted as part of a birth accident.
There were a few discrepancies, but generally they were correct, although sometimes lacking in detail. Infact as part of the recommendations that came from the internal report at the hospital it was noted that pregnancy notes should be more detailed. It is REALLY important that the notes are correct and complete as if they are required for evidence it really is crucial.

Justfeckingdoit Wed 09-Nov-11 15:05:25

This happened to me too. I asked for advice on here, amended my notes ( the consultant said I had agreed to an induction when I specifically had said I did not want one unless for medical reasons). My DP was at the appointment with me, so I know that I said no.

Took this up with a senior consultant at my next appointment and he took it really seriously, amended my notes and wrote 4 pages apologizing for this and other errors in my ante natal care.

So write on your notes what really happened, sign and date it and take it further

Mind you, they still lost my delivery notes and I do wonder if that's because a midwife to ally messed up my monitoring and did notcsave it to the main system, so they verybnearly missed that my Dd was in distress, resulting in an EMCS

Next time I am taking copies of my notes. Really.

Justfeckingdoit Wed 09-Nov-11 15:06:48

Sigh, too many iPad typos to correct.

Breadrollsbuns Wed 09-Nov-11 15:26:36

I noticed last week (at 24 weeks) that my MW had ticked "No" against "Is partner the baby's father?"!!!!!

Luckily, DH took it all in good spirits and we amended the box, but I thought that was quite slack. I shall keep a look out from now on after the comments above.

banana87 Wed 09-Nov-11 15:55:55

Just as a warning, I was a private patient at the Portland with dd and it happened there too sad. This time round I am also private but in an NHS hospital. My consultant doesn't usually fabricate, but does occasionally (as in my op). I will be bringing it up with him when I see him Friday.

FirstTimeMummyToBe Wed 09-Nov-11 18:01:06

my notes say i have just left care hmm.

My partner and i bought our home over a year ago and before that rented so don't know why this is in them. It was a student midwife who did this appointment so never really thought to bring it up think i will now though.

Broodzilla Wed 09-Nov-11 19:38:42

Oh dear... I could write an essay on this...

Went to see the MW after I'd first had some contractions and then woken up with my face, hands and feet swollen. She told me off for coming in, said it's only a worry if you have high bp or protein in urine. I pointed out that I had no way of knowing if I had either without coming in. She then told me that only 1% of babies are born early, and as it was my first baby, I should be worrying about xmas shopping. She wrote on the notes that the baby wasn't engaged (she never touched me). A few hours later I had PROM and at 35+6 ended up in hospital for "monitoring", loooong story short, they didn't think I was in labour, so put me on a ward. I told them I was having regular contractions, and asked for something for the pain (I couldn't walk or stand) but was offered paracetamol. At 9 PM they told DH he'd have to go home as visiting hours were over. I was sobbing by then, so they took pity and moved us to a private room, where they left us on our own, despite DH going out to the hall several times, asking for them to check me as I was really struggling.

A couple of times a MW came to the door and said I could only get painrelief / move to the labour suite once I was ACTUALLY in labour... But again, they didn't examine me - and more upsettingly, never checked DS's heartrate. Finally it got to a point where I (thought I) desperately needed to go to the bathroom, but couldn't move. DH pulled the emergency cord to get some help, and turns our DS's head was coming out.

Amazingly (and for this I'm forever grateful) we were both physically ok... But I ended up with PTSD.

I looked through my notes while I still had them, to confirm that I didn't just FEEL neglected... Notes of the "monitoring" were accurate (but showed no mention of me asking for help, pain relief or to be assessed) in that there wasn't any... But the "labour and delivery" notes were made up afterwards as they had no idea what had happened when.

Sadly I didn't take copies, as a few months later when I was in councelling for PTSD and went in for a debriefing, all my notes had disappeared.

I have been hoping that it was just me... Am so sorry to hear how common this is.

Ilanthe Wed 09-Nov-11 19:45:44

Jeez. I read my notes after giving birth (they left them at the end of the bed and I just picked them up and read them) and they were very detailed and accurate.

I am horrified that this isn't the case everywhere.

samwellsbutt Wed 09-Nov-11 20:15:34

blimey never have had a problem with notes, some times struggle to read them but they have always been spot on. but i have always felt very lucky to live were i live as others seem to have such horror stories.

Murtette Wed 09-Nov-11 20:22:31

I haven't seen my notes from my labour with DD but I'm only 13 weeks into my second pregnancy and there have already been several errors. Due to lots of low, stabbing pain, I had an early scan during which the sonographer couldn't find one of my ovaries and the one he did find was very polycystic, nonetheless my notes say "both ovaries examined and appear healthy". I also had a call from the antenatal team today who are doing the tests following my 12 week scan to discuss my previous down's syndrome pregnancies, of which there have been none. Apparently, the MW has marked "3" in the box! As this is unusual, they called me to discuss it. Who knows what they'll come up with next.

YaMaYaMa Wed 09-Nov-11 20:29:09

I really regret not making copies of my notes after dd was born last year. I'm due again in April and I will definitely be doing it this time. The total fiction that was the account of my labour was so ridiculous that I couldnt take it in at the time.

herethereandeverywhere Wed 09-Nov-11 21:48:55

I haven't seen the full copy of my notes (yet - I've just requested them and paid £25 for the privilege shock) but the summary that they discharged me with said I had ARM (my waters broken for me) when in fact they had gone naturally. Mistakes like that don't instill confidence.

More recently I discussed my previous birth trauma with a consultant (as I was asking for a cs). I specifically mentioned that her face was scarred as a result of the forceps - he discussed this with me and referred to her scar several times. He went on to refuse a cs. When I checked my notes he's written "her daughter had a bruised face". I just felt I wasn't listened to and was fobbed off. So I wrote all over the notes correcting them. As they're my antenatal notes I'm hoping it will encourage more accuracy going forwards grin

Incidentally, someone mentioned about job titles on notes being helpful. I'm a solicitor and don't think it's helped me!

ellmum Wed 09-Nov-11 22:10:27

Broodzilla your story is pretty much identical to mine, except my DH was sent home. About an hour or so later the MW found me on the floor of the bathroom. DD was born 10 mins later. I'd never thought about the fact that babies are normally monitored in labour. My notes just say 'precipitate labour'.

pregnantmimi Thu 10-Nov-11 02:50:40

So happy seen this thread I had two cases of notes that were not true or done in a way to make me look bad. I went into hospital as worried about movements and on machine the midwife left me for 20 mins and came back said thats perfect I will come back in 5 mins to take you off machine. 1 and half hours later she hadnt come back now I know they are busy but got urine infection and thought I would wet myself called out for midwife no one came so took straps off went to the station in there of the midwife told them sorry I disconnected myself but I called out no one came and really need the toilet and midfie said only be 5 mins and hour and half they were fine. Later when home looked on notes and it says... she disconnected herself off machine before she was asked too,,, thats fine but today when midwife talked ot me she seemed bit funny I had took myself off the machine like I didnt care about baby not moving and I should have stayed on etc I told her I was on the machine for 1 hour and 40 mins and needed a wee no one came. They are just covering them selfs all the time

Broodzilla Thu 10-Nov-11 08:04:09

Ellmum shock I'm so sorry you had to go through that alone.
Yes, during labour, they should (whether this actually happens, I wouldn't know) monitor the baby's heartbeat every 10-15 minutes so that they can pick up any problems.
Did you ever have an opportunity to discuss your experience with the hospital? I can't say I found my session that helpful really, as all notes were missing and the MW who did the session wasn't even one of the ones who'd "cared" for me... but I did at least tell them to make damn sure it never happens to anyone else. That, at least, made me feel a bit better...

I am now 29 weeks pregnant with DC2 and will go and have a chat at the hospital about my experience as I'm worried I'll panic when labour starts. (Luckily I've moved...)

TeWihara Thu 10-Nov-11 08:30:20

Mine are wrong too - not on the scale of any of this though!!

Just things like the weren't moitoring me enough as they thought I wasn't really in labour so the recorded labour time is total rubbish, they also didn't write down one of the drugs I had.

With 2nd baby I took my notes from 1st baby to the booking in appointment as I assumed it would have things I'd forgotten about in. MW believed me instead of the notes very easily so I doubt I was the first one to go "hang on, that's not right". hmm

Booboostoo Thu 10-Nov-11 08:48:04

I am not at all surprised by these stories. I requested all my medical notes when we were due to move to France so that I could have a record with me and I was in for a surprise. First of all they were all mixed in, different dates, different doctocs (GPs and referrals) all jumbled together - there was no way anyone could make head or tails of the whole thing and I don't even have a complicated health history. Then there were bits missing. In some cases entire years' worth, in others consultations with specialists didn't exist at all which explains the trouble I had been having getting repeat prescriptions!

I much prefer the French system, anything you do (exams, bloods, etc) you get a copy of to keep for yourself and a copy sent to your GP. You get to see everything as standard.

oyuoyu Thu 10-Nov-11 08:56:40

My grandfather had a social worker in the final few years of his life. She completely fabricated his life story; almost none of it bore any resemblance to his actual life.

TipOfTheSlung Thu 10-Nov-11 09:01:54

I never saw my notes with dd, too much else going on but I doubt the mw wrote the awgful truth o how she treated me on them

addictediam Thu 10-Nov-11 09:21:47

I never got to see my notes after dd was born, they had been pretty accurate up unfilled then tho. Although my community midwife did wriye in big red letter on the delivery page
I have 3 issues with this
1) I was 23 so not a teen
2) I didn't refuse classes, the only one they offered I physically couldnt get to
3) and most importantly she wrote it bigger and over the top of where the consultant had written I had GBS.
You tell me which is more important missed anti-natal classes or a virus that could kill my baby?
The hospital mw crossed it out and said it was a silly thing to put on that page

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