Midwife appointments - what would you do?!

(50 Posts)
RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 08:41:28

Starting to get really frustrated now and I feel like I’m getting nowhere 😓 (Apologies, I did post the beginning of this last week but can’t find the thread). Looking for advice as to what you would all do?!

Was supposed to have a midwife appt week beginning 14th Sept. Was told she couldn’t give me a specific day but would phone me on the Monday with a day and time. Monday came and went, no call. Tried to contact her on Tuesday - there’s no direct contact for my community midwives so I was sent on a wild goose chase and had to call 11 numbers before I got someone who would pass on a message to her 😐 finally got a call back on Friday from another midwife telling me mine had been off sick all week. Was a bit frustrated that nobody had contacted me sooner to let me know but I get that things are a bit all over the place just now 🙄

Was told by that midwife that if mine wasn’t back to work at the start of this week then there were things in place for another midwife to call me on Monday 21st and give me an appt with them instead. It’s now Friday 25th and I’ve heard absolutely nothing and can’t get a call back from anyone.

I’m 34+3 today and haven’t seen a midwife since 28 weeks (which was the only face to face contact I’ve had so far apart from scans). Any ideas where to go from here? I’m really starting to lose confidence in the level of care being given 😔

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emma911030 Fri 25-Sep-20 08:52:57

Is it a general question/concern you want to speak to her about or just about a normal routine appointment.
Only wondering if it's worth calling the maternity unit at your hospital and ask to speak to one of the midwives based there? Or just to get some answers in general. They might be able to chase someone up for you? I'm sure you've tried this already but it's all I have.
I've been trying to get my matB1 form from mine but cause I've not seen her I've not got it and even after speaking to the doctors who made an action on her diary to leave it at the surgery and still nothing sad it's really is rather annoying and frustrating x

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 09:11:35

@emma911030 It’s so frustrating isn’t it? Hopefully you get your MATB1 soon! How far along are you?

It’s just a routine appointment I’m looking for to get all the normal checks done really! At 28 weeks she told me I should have an appt at 32 weeks but the following week would be better for her so booked me in for my next app when I would be 33 weeks. Realistically, I’m not going to have any luck seeing anyone today so it’ll be next week at the earliest when I’ll be 35 weeks. FTM and classed as higher risk so I’m just slightly concerned about going so long without all the routine BP/urine checks etc being done 🤷🏻‍♀️

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RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 09:12:29

That 33 week appt is the one that didn’t happen and now I can’t get hold of anyone so it’ll be 7 weeks between appointments 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Disappointedkoala Fri 25-Sep-20 09:16:17

I'd contact PALS asap - if you check your notes it should tell you when you should have seen a MW and therefore how many appointments you've missed. I get seen at 28, 32 and then a home visit at 34 weeks for example to discuss birth plan.

JemimaTiggywinkle Fri 25-Sep-20 09:17:04

Could you try contacting PALS? (Patient Advice and Liaison Service). You should be able to find their details on the trust website.

They should be able to find out what’s going on and get it sorted out for you.

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 09:23:34

@Disappointedkoala Yeah I believe that’s what my schedule is meant to be too although the one she had scheduled at 33 weeks was supposed to be a home visit to discuss birth plan so not sure if that was to try and condense the 32 and 34 week appts i to one 🤷🏻‍♀️

I think PALS is my next option 👍🏻

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Emelene Fri 25-Sep-20 09:30:56

Yes I would go through PaLs. It's very odd you don't have a general number to contact for the community midwives. I wouldn't be happy with this level of care. The routine checks are there for a reason.

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 09:41:00

@Emelene I think it’s odd not to have a number for them too if I’m honest 😔 I’m really starting to become very unhappy with the level of care! The only contact numbers I’ve been given or that are in my notes are for the Early Pregnancy Unit to be used until 17 weeks and then the Emergency line for the maternity hospital to be used after 17 weeks and obviously for emergencies only!

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Emelene Fri 25-Sep-20 09:45:51

@RWK29 - looking at my own maternity notes, on the front cover I have the maternity midwife office number, which states if I can't get hold of my allocated midwife within 24 hours I can ring them and they will answer within 24 hours.

Honestly I would escalate this now and go to PALs and raise concerns. I have been very happy with my maternity care despite Covid and you deserve the peace of mind of knowing baby is okay!

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 09:53:27

@Emelene I’ve managed to through to a midwife at the number that managed to pass on a message for me last week just in the last 10 minutes. She said that doesn’t sound right at all and is sending over a message to have the community midwives a call me ASAP to sort this out. I’ve told her I’ll leave it until this afternoon then I’ll be taking it further so we’ll see if I get a call back 🤞🏼

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Phiphi123 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:00:47

I would call the day assessment unit at the local hospital and explain the difficulties you are having in seeing a community midwife and ask whether they will do your bloods and other bits if you come there. They won’t want to but it might give community midwives a nudge if others are asked to do what they should be. Failing that have a look on google for an email address and get your concerns in writing- I found the head of midwifery for my NHS trust email address on a job advert and emailed her about issues I was having accessing care and was offered an appointment the same day I emailed her after weeks of chasing. Good luck!

BG1234 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:02:26

Hi, I can sympathise with you. Although I had a 28 week and 31 week appointment with a midwife neither of them were my actual midwife (who had changed a couple of times and I’d never met). My midwives have been saying continuously I’d be referred to a consultant since April and when I rang the hospital fed up last week to check on this they said no referral had been put through! Tried to phone ‘my midwife’ and just got an answerphone message saying she’s no longer a midwife. Tried calling my community midwives for days (later found out their phone line wasn’t working) hmm
I did try PALS and to be honest they weren’t great, very friendly but not overly useful, although I have heard good things about them. They did in the end give me a number for hospital community midwives who have now put the referral through for me.
So I would give PALS a call.
But similar to other posters, as well as referral never being put through, I had to chase up my Mat B1 which was really late, still haven’t received the prescription exemption thing after going through details several times and being promised it months ago, and when I finally got through to a community midwife after going on a complete goose chase she was incredibly rude to the point I got off the phone and cried. The next time I called her back (because she never did actually call back) she was a bit more polite but said they are so unbelievably short-staffed and run ragged. As much as I can sympathise with them on a personal level, like you this really doesn’t fill me confidence about the care I can hope to receive further on down the line.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a moan too!
Try PALS and ask for the community midwives based at your hospital. Keep calling and get some answers.

Good luck x

pigeonsfeather Fri 25-Sep-20 10:04:34

I hear you, I’m nearly 29 weeks and I haven’t met ‘my’ midwife yet.

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:10:56

@Phiphi123 Thanks...I’ll have a look at doing that if I don’t hear back from them today. I’ve managed to get someone to send a message over to them to get them to call me ASAP.

@BG1234 sorry you’re having such a hard time too! I really do sympathise with the midwives - especially when staffing levels are low. They have such a big job to do and it really must be difficult to keep up with everything with all the restrictions in place. I just wish their communication was better 😔 I do understand appointments being changed to phone appts and us maybe having to be a bit flexible with regards to times and dates but basic healthcare levels should still be being met. I got pregnant at the start of February before all the covid stuff really kicked off and this is already what things are like so I do wonder what it’ll be like for people who have got pregnant during covid since they’re expecting this huge baby boom at the start of next year!

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RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:14:58

@pigeonsfeather I don’t know if there’s really such a thing at the moment to be honest 🙈 I think there’s a named midwife that is technically “your” midwife and is responsible for you but anyone in the community midwife team will deal with you depending on staff levels 🤷🏻‍♀️

It’s a real shame as I have friends who have had their first babies over the last couple of years and they have all raved about how amazing “their” midwife was and how they felt really well looked after 👎🏼 It must be frustrating for the midwives too though if they’re used to giving that level of care and are being out in a position where they now can’t 😔

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pigeonsfeather Fri 25-Sep-20 10:17:37

No I know but it would be nice to feel there was someone, even a number of someones, you can call if needed! I’ve had a few problems with work lately and have been advised to ‘call your midwife’ but I don’t have one! I hope you manage to get things sorted though. It feels a bit scary, like driving alone through fog.

rorosemary Fri 25-Sep-20 10:22:27

Sorry, what? You can't get hold of a midwife? So what are you supposed to do when labour starts then?

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:26:15

@rorosemary I believe when labour starts it’s the maternity hospital “emergency” line that I call as it’s nothing to do with the community midwives. But for routine antenatal checks I have no way of contacting my community midwife 🤷🏻‍♀️

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BG1234 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:26:46

Completely agree @RWK29, I’m sure this isn’t how the midwives want to work and I can’t blame any one of them individually as I’m sure they are working their butts off.

I’m a ftm and have nothing to compare it to, so I was very easygoing about it all until a couple of weeks ago. My partner however has children from a previous relationship and says how completely different the care at the moment is. I guess although you can make some allowances for COVID, we all still deserve to feel supported in what is a really trying time x

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 10:29:02

@pigeonsfeather Completely agree 👍🏻 I feel like I’m just coasting through hoping for the best 😓 it was really starting to get to me so I did pay for an online course which has made me feel better about the practical aspects of labour and postnatal care etc and just general information about baby care. But for all the other things like work issues etc there’s not really anyone else to go to 😔

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60sPony Fri 25-Sep-20 10:53:58

I’m 35+1, so very similar to you. And whilst I also haven’t seen my midwife since 28 weeks (next appointment is today) I have clear instructions of numbers to call and who to contact and already have all routine appointments until 42 weeks booked in. There is of course cutting some slack to understaffed midwives but your level of care does sound worrying, at the bare minimum you want to have a number you can call and know is answered. I really hope they get back to you properly soon.

Foreverbaffled Fri 25-Sep-20 11:03:39

I’m glad you managed to make contact and fingers crossed they call you back this afternoon. Sending a hand hold, it’s so hard being pregnant at the moment. I’m 30 weeks and saw a midwife face to face for the first time at 28 weeks. At the end of that appt I insisted they make my next appt on the spot as knew that otherwise I’d be in a similar position to you. They didn’t mind at all and at least my next one is in the diary. Maybe you can ask for that next time? I know these appointments are only routine but they are so important aren’t they. I feel like I’m coasting along at the moment too. Good luck!

EleanorSaysFork Fri 25-Sep-20 11:26:19

Fingers crossed your care improves now but this is dreadful. I sympathise that midwives don’t want to work like this and it is a very difficult time but basic communication and clear direction of who to contact has to happen. My trust moved some early appointments to the phone but from 28 weeks everything is face to face and at the end of each appointment the next one is booked in as a standard procedure. When the location of my next appointment was changed I got a phone call from an assistant to let me know. I have a list of numbers and instructions for who to call depending on the situation. I am saying this just as an example that it can be done better even during Covid and other trusts are managing - it is reasonable to expect and ask for better care.

RWK29 Fri 25-Sep-20 13:36:11

@60sPony Thanks 😊 sounds like you haven’t been seen as often as you should have been either but I’m glad you have numbers that you can call 😊 hope everything goes well with your pregnancy! Not long to go now 😊

@Foreverbaffled I did push for that which is why she scheduled me in for “week beginning 14/9” but said she couldn’t give an actually date until that week because they wouldn’t know staffing levels until then 🙄 I’ll definitely be pushing for an actual date next time! Hope everything goes well in your pregnancy 😊

@EleanorSaysFork Thank you 😊 I’m glad you’re receiving the care that you should be! I’ll definitely be raising all these issues with them as things could definitely be much better in my area!

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