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crap (non) ante-natal appointment today

(24 Posts)
bubble99 Wed 19-Jan-05 19:44:05

I'm feeling really fed up. I had my first appointment with my consultant today, at 35 weeks with twins! My appointment was at 10.40am. I had to collect DS2 from school at 1pm but did not envisage any problems. When DH and I arrived at the hospital the waiting room was overflowing, there was nowhere to sit at all. I found out that the consultant had arrived at 10.30am - the first appointment was at 9am. There were 10 people ahead of us and it was obvious that I was not likely to be seen before we needed to leave to collect DS. I cancelled my appointment and booked for next week. I appreciate that the consultant has a life and that these things happen but I am so pissed off . Am I over-reacting?

misdee Wed 19-Jan-05 19:45:56

nope your not over reacting. last diabetes clinic i went to was running over my 2hrs, mightily p*ssed off i was. and today i was again meant to see diabetes team but there arent in till next week, and my consultant wasnt in today either. grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Frizbe Wed 19-Jan-05 19:47:18

no your not the health system is getting worse with its waiting times IMO, yest we had to wait an hour in the docs surgery to be seen and that was a booked appointment time......(and they're running a business?) and today the bloomin dentist was 20mins late, back from his DINNER? they're all paid too much obviously....

Lonelymum Wed 19-Jan-05 19:48:27

WHAT? Your first appt and you are 35 weeks and carrying twins? I would have thought you would have been seen months before this! I remember feeling hard done by when I was pregnant with No 4 and wasn't seen until 34 weeks, but they had no reason to suspect that I would have problems.

I suppose the consultant had some emergency somewhere else and that was the reason he was so late, not just staying in bed for an extra cuppa! Even so, you wonder what the registrars are doing. I would have prefeered to have been seen by a more junior doctor than not at all.

So, no, I don't think you are over-reacting.

Gomez Wed 19-Jan-05 19:48:47

Sorry but what if in 5 weeks time you are in labour and need him to help at your delivery which just happens to happen so to speak on a Wednesday morning? Do you want him to say oops, hang on a bit love I have got a clinic to do?

To be fair I would have been well cheesed-off to but as you say these things happen.

Good Luck.

Lonelymum Wed 19-Jan-05 19:50:43

BTW, it's rife in the NHS. I spent all morning today getting my sons plaster changed on his broken arm. I saw the doctor for about 2 minutes, and the plaster took about 15 maximum to change and yet I was in the hospital for 2 hours.

misdee Wed 19-Jan-05 19:50:55

what bout the consultants team who he/she works with? were they all out as well?

Amanda3266 Wed 19-Jan-05 19:54:38

Hi bubble,

This is the problem with the totally crappy maternity "care" system at present. From my time as a community midwife I remember a long list of "problems" which necessitated a consultant appointment (such as a request for a homebirth . As a result the clinics are totally overflowing and overbooked which means that the people who really do need to be there (ie yourself) get a really rum deal. Part of the reason I left midwifery.

And "No" you're not over-reacting.


bubble99 Wed 19-Jan-05 20:05:51

Lonelymum, I've been seeing my gp for all of my antenatals so far. Haven't seen a MW since my booking appt. My fault really, I've left various messages on the community MW's line but they haven't been returned and I haven't persevered. I've been fairly relaxed about this pg and having scans 2 weekly recently has been reassuring. The registrar was also busy and the wait to see her would have been ages too. The list had also been overbooked which didn't help.Too true Frizbe and misdee it's definately getting worse. The health secretary, John Reid was on the radio this morning and I had to switch it off, the man was lying IMO, saying that there was no increase in waiting times. There, I've done it - three subjects to avoid -sex, politics and religion and I've steamed in with politics. Here endeth the rant

Lonelymum Wed 19-Jan-05 20:11:46

I have had a lot to do with the NHS all my life, although I don't actually work for it, but on a recent visit, I was stunned at how disaffected some of the nurses were, and not young women either but mature ladies who had clearly been around for some time. You may have been political, bubble, but you haven't said anything I don't agree with.

alwayssaythanku Wed 19-Jan-05 20:15:06

Considering it was just announced today that in the U.K. the average waiting time for a broken limb is 4-5 days, I would say your complaints are valid. the system is falling apart and we are the victims!

bubble99 Wed 19-Jan-05 20:19:34

Hi Mandy

I felt sorry for thr MW's this morning. There were two of them and they'd obviously had a lot to deal with. One suggested that I wait for an hour to see if the list was clearing, we went to the canteen for a while, came back and there were the same faces in the waiting room. Probably due to hormones but I was nearly in tears and decided to rebook the appt. I've got a scan on Friday, my FIL is a pharmacist and he's getting me some urinalysis strips. I'm a RN and can keep an eye out for protein, glucose and oedema. Gp for a BP now and then - talk about DIY care!

bubble99 Wed 19-Jan-05 20:42:07

Too true Lonelymum, the Tories pulled some shockers. 'Care in the Community' - which translated as closing facilities and selling the land to private developers for yet more 'luxury flats' that no-one can afford - but at least the wards were clean(er). When I trained in the late eighties each ward had it's own, and usually, two 'housekeepers' who were responsible for cleaning. Some weren't great but most took pride in their work and would berate anyone who left a mess. Under beds were cleaned as were lockers and tables daily. I did some agency shifts in the NHS recently( I've been working in the private sector for a while) and I wanted a broom to sweep up some junk under a bed, they were all locked away in the 'contract cleaners' cupboard, with no access for ward staff. Crazy eh!
And - ooooh, I'm off on one now! When my DS2 was in hospital four years ago, our room on the paeds. ward had dried blood on the doors and a week old newspaper under the parents campbed. I had watched a 'cleaner' come in ten minutes before, wave a dirty mop around and go.
alwayssaythanku, 4-5 days?!!! that is just shocking.

Lonelymum Thu 20-Jan-05 10:17:30

I don't know why, but basic care seems to have gone down the drain. I don't want to suggest that nurses and others don't care anymore, but I will never forget when I had my first baby: I had a horrendous time and was left in a blood-stained hospital gown for a day after giving birth. I tried to walk to the shower but came over all wobbly and was told to lie down again. I thought someone would be along with a sponge to help me get a bit cleaned up, but no-one did. I had to rely on my mother visiting her first grandchild to help me wash. The state of the pads on the bed were unmentionable!

When I had dd, I had to empty my own catheter bag but I was glad I had it and didn't need to use the loo because it was filthy and remained so all the time I was in hospital (a day and a half).

Sorry, I am ranting now. Sometimes need to get it off my chest!

mears Thu 20-Jan-05 10:58:11

bubble99 - how have you got a date for induction without ever seeing he consultant?
Where I work, twin pregnancies are seen regularly by the consultant. It is appalling that you could not be seen on time. The GP is not the correct professional to be monitoring a twin pregnancy IMO. Who set up the scans? Our women are seen by conultant/registrar after scans. Why are they fornightly?
Have you been seen at the hospital at all?

bubble99 Thu 20-Jan-05 13:41:18

Hi mears

At my booking appt I asked the MW about 'term' for twins and she said that it was local policy for twins to be induced at 38 weeks, hence my (self determined) date for induction. I had a GTT at the hospital in August last year due to glycosuria in my 2 previous pgs and previous GTT's - all normal. I agree that the GP is not the best person to be monitoring a twin pg but I have had such a crap time trying to get appts with the CMW's that it's been better than nothing. I haven't seen a consultant after my scans as my consultant has one clinic a week on Weds. mornings. I've left another message on the MW's office phone, the mobile number I was given has repeatedly connected me to an elderly lady in York, who is not a MW, unfortunately!
I've got a scan tomorrow, I just keep rebooking 2 weekly on the advice of the U/S dept. Wow! I sound flaky don't I?!
I've got an appt for the consultant's clinic next Wednesday morning. This time I will make sure I have no plans for the pm. in case there's another delay. I have talked by phone with the (not labour) ward MW's at the hospital a couple of times for advice and they have been great, no complaints there at all, just hasn't felt like 'joined up' care at all. My fault for not chasing things up though.

bubble99 Thu 20-Jan-05 14:27:48

Lonelymum, you've now gone and rattled my cage again haven't you !?! After my ranting posts about the (general) state of the NHS last night I assumed that everyone had quietly sloped off muttering "weirdo."
Yes, the basic state of cleanliness has gone down the pan (or not, judging by the amount of unflushed and uncleaned loos -haha). Did you read about the woman who was found dead in an NHS ward loo recently? Rigor mortis was at a stage to suggest that she'd been dead for two days- some cleaning rota eh?! Since contract cleaners were introduced things have got progressively worse. The governments waffle about 'Infection Control Czars' is a joke, MRSA will thrive if basic cleaning isn't carried out, not rocket science is it?
In response to your point about basic nursing care, IMO, and I'm probably going to get grief for saying this from any (fairly) recently trained nurses- basic care is not being taught effectively. When I trained,in the dark ages admittedly, most of our learning was ward based interspersed with 'blocks'of learning in school, the opposite now seems to be true. I think the rationale for this is that basic nursing care should be carried out by care assistants, who are now training in NVQ's. All well and good, but nurses need to know the basics too eg. barrier nursing for infectious patients. When MRSA first hit large scale back in the eighties, whole wards would be strictly isolated, now a patient may end up in a side room with a box of gloves and aprons outside for no apparent reason as no-one (visitors et al) seem to follow any precautions. And don't get me started on all day visiting hours ( with the exception of paeds and maternity)- when does any cleaning get done?! BTW - I don't blame you for preferring a catheter to braving the loos, I've got my flash wipes already packed in my hospital bag, just in case.
I'd better go and have a lie down now - before they come to take me away.

bakedpotato Thu 20-Jan-05 14:39:38

bubble, on your behalf. it seems extraordinary that the hospital is happy to field out your antenatal care to the sonography dep.
i'd love to know which hospital it is.

bubble99 Thu 20-Jan-05 15:15:26

Just tried the MW's (based at hospital) number again, still an answerphone and still no reply to my message from earlier on asking for the correct mobile number for the CMW (I have now left at least four messages asking for the mobile number). Tried the ANC number, engaged, engaged, answered and put straight down, engaged, engaged. Am beginning to take this personally!
Have now 'phoned GP who can see me for an antenatal appt. at 9.40am tomorrow, how's that for service. So GP followed by scan at 11.40am tomorrow -at least I can hear heartbeats and get urine and BP checked before the scan. Will phone MW's on the ward again to see if they have an alternative contact number for the CMW.

bubble99 Thu 20-Jan-05 15:19:21

bakedpotato, Kingston Hospital although my scans have been at QMUH Roehampton. Can't fault my previous deliveries at Kingston, fantastic MW's and facilities, I'm just not having any luck with AN care.

Lonelymum Thu 20-Jan-05 16:42:46

Yes bubble I did hear about the dead woman in the toilets. It beggars belief doesn't it?

I am sorry you are having such a difficult time being seen and understand what you mean about not getting joined up care. There was a survey reported on in the papers at the weekend whcih said that a high percentage (forget what exactly) of women were not delivered by the MW they saw during pg. I am staggered the percentage was as low as it was (and it wasn't low at all). I have never seen in hospital let alone been delivered by the midwives I saw during my pgs. For my first 2 pgs, I did at least see the same mw throughout my pgs, but for the 3rd and 4th, I saw a different MW each appt. TBH, I didn't care as I didn't particularly want to know the MW who delivered me as I always acted like a baby and wouldn't have liked to have seen those women again when pg again, but I can imagine that some continuity of care would be reassuring.

FWIW, you seem to be managing your pg very well, although you could do without this anxiety I imagine. Good luck with your twins. How exciting! Do you know the sex of the babies? Are they identical twins or not? Hope to see your birth announcement in due course.

mears Thu 20-Jan-05 19:35:04

Bubble99 -I am absolutely appalled that you are having to dirsct your own care. It is not your fault - you shouldn't have to chase up anythinmg. Absolutely ridiculous that they have a polict of inducing twins at 38 weeks IMO - I know you might be looking forward to the end of pregnancy but that decision should be made on anindividual basis - not blanket policy. I would phone Head of Midwifery and let her know how difficult it has been for you to access a midwife. Your GP should be able to track one down for you. Really can't believe it.

bubble99 Thu 20-Jan-05 20:37:01

Will definately do that tomorrow. The U/S dept. is in the same building as the ANC, and there is usually a MW there even if not a clinic day, so I will go along after my scan and ask one of them to get hold of the CMW for me and if unable I will ask for contact details for Director of Midwifery. My brain may be addled at present but I just seem to be given phone nos. for answerphones or my old lady in York wherever I turn. When I made my GP appt earlier I asked the receptionist for the MW's number and she gave me the number I've been leaving messages on for weeks - it's like being in 'The Twilight Zone!' Babies are wriggling around OK, ankle swelling is bad but blood pressure and urine OK. Carpal Tunnel is driving me mad, I have virtually no sensation in my fingers, apart from the little one. Thanks for your advice mears, it is much appreciated.

mears Thu 20-Jan-05 23:06:33

have you seen a physio for splints for your hands? If not, ask about that at hospital tomorrow too. Hope you manage to get somewhere with getting midwife. Still can't believe it.

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