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Inflexible maternity services(19 Posts)
Hi I just wondered if this was normal or if it is just my area. I've recently discovered I'm pregnant and was given the number of maternity services by nurse at my gp practice. She said ring between 8.30-9.30 as that is the only time the office is open. I rang the next day 21 times between 8.30 and 9 and got no answer then had to go to work.
Managed to get through the following morning and she offered me an appointment that afternoon or next Tuesday morning. I only work tues-fri and work in a hairdressers as self employed so am not entitled to any paid time off, also it means cancelling clients at short notice which isn't good for building a good reputation. She refused me an appointment on a Monday and said they don't do that clinic on a monday. Is it just me who thinks this is poor service. Apparently, there are no other services in the area, not even private options. I bet the appointment is just so she can tell me to take folic acid and not to smoke or drink. I feel in this day and age it should be more flexible or there should be more choice. Women work these days. What does everyone else think
I don't think it's poor service.
People work different shifts and times they can't possibly accommodate everyone.
Women are entitled to time off for midwife appointments, it's unfortunate that it doesn't work out for you but it will work for the vast majority.
Your first appointment is for your booking in which goes through all your medical history and family history and is for asking questions and getting information so it's very important.
I had a similar problem with my 2nd appointment (but only that one). They said that they have clinics in different towns on different days. They had a clinic 2 towns away on the day I needed so I went to that one instead. They only have clinics 3 days a week though even if u went to a different town so I was lucky the day I needed worked. If you don't want to tell work about pregnancy yet you will have to book holiday for it or something. If you want to go private there are independent midwives who will do all you antenatal appointments at your home at a time convenient for you. It's not cheap though!
My gp said there are no private midwife services in the area, because he couldn't find one for his wife when she was pregnant.
I know I'll have to put a days holiday in and cancel all my clients for that day but I never cancel my clients at short notice so don't know what excuse I can tell everyone at work. They're always asking if I'm broody and when I'm going to have kids, I bet they ask if I'm pregnant and I'll go bright red but I'm only in very early pregnancy and don't want to announce it yet obviously
The gp will probably have given the the contact for the local community midwives unit. They will probably run clinics at various locations during the week.
Try looking at the contacts page for your nearest maternity hospital, it will give you a main contact for the community midwives unit local to you, and you can try them to see if there is a clinic on a Monday at another location that you can go to for booking in.
You can also call the hospital midwifery team and ask them, but they're likely just to refer you back to the community midwife team.
My midwife only does a clinic on a Thursday, which gets so full it's crazy! And if she is needed it is via email, and then I have a general number to call.
Tell clients you have to help a friend who has just come out of hospital or something. Good luck
I forgot to say. I agree with you that it's not a great setup for those of us working. I have extra scans and tests at hospital for various reasons so it works out that I'll have 2 appointments at hospital a month on top of the normal midwife appointments. I work really far from home too so I will probably miss a half day each time or have to work from home so it's inconvenient. However, it's the nhs, they are short of staff and have budget issues. I'd rather they spend the money and effort fixing up the labour and post natal wards as I'll need those when I need them and that's far more serious than missing a few days of work!
My midwife only does appointments on Wednesdays in my town and is only available by answerphone otherwise. They can only provide the number of services the community needs otherwise it's a waste of money for them to just be sitting around waiting for appointments. Unfortunately they can't meet ideal requirements for everyone.
It is frustrating, but they have to make the best use of their time by grouping all the clinic appointments together to leave the rest of their time for other work (home visits to newborn babies, maybe shifts in a birthing centre, homebirths). Looking at it from the other end, if you'd just had your baby and were struggling with feeding for example, you'd find it unacceptable if the midwife couldn't come out for several days because she was stuck in a clinic with only a couple of people booked in.
Midwifery services are under a huge amount of pressure and funding is being cut. Having antenatal clinic days is completely normal and allows more women to be seen.
What is more outrageous is they are bringing in post natal clinics where I am, so instead of home visits post birth, women are having to travel with stitches and a newborn to a clinic for postnatal checks. Awful service.
I know it's really exciting as its your first, but you could wait another week for your booking in appointment? Then you don't have to cancel clients so soon.
Terrible service in my area too. Problem with the baby's lungs diagnosed at 20w scan but midwives "too busy" to see me. Luckily my DH is a consultant and insisted that the pre-natal consultant see me urgently, but I would have been left up shit creek otherwise. I am dreading the delivery. It shouldn't be like this.
popthisoneout it's because home visits cost too much petrol. Sad but true. Community midwives have their petrol monitored and if they spend too much, they get told off. Ridiculous but there you go. Although my community mentor I had as a student thinks community postnatal care won't exist at all in 10-20 years it's being eroded so much, I really hope that isn't the case.
OP, you could ask if she could do a home visit on another day. Some areas do that but don't be surprised if she says no!
Doesn't surprise me at all Golden.
I'm a community nurse and where I am we tend to walk to visits to avoid the petrol thing. I do drive sometimes but have never claimed it back as the form is too time consuming and I'm already stretched to the limit seeing patients.
Our service is changing to clinics rather than home visits as you can bash more patients out if they come to you, this is despite the fact it's supposed to be a home visiting service! Women's health is really baring the brunt of the cuts IMO.
Our clinic runs Tuesday/Wednesday only. It's massively overbooked. Runs 4-5 patients behind and we have no permanent midwife. We don't get half the info we need and we are lucky if we can get in for an appointment. We are rushed through in about 10 mins with no time for questions.
Just curious a to why you need to cancel all your clients, surely they will give you a set appointment time and you can work before or after that? Here midwife appointments are only on a Monday, it does seem to be the norm for a surgery to only have midwives in one day a week.
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