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Would you want this feedback from a patient?

6 replies

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 24/04/2018 12:31

Hi, I hope no one minds me posting here as I am not an HCP. Might post a general thread but wanted some straight opinions from the horses' mouths!

So I have been invited to give feedback to my hospital's Birth Afterthoughts service as in my recent high risk twin labour, I was left alone and delivered by myself in a loo and one twin banged his head and needed a brain scan after. I think they all think I ought to be traumatised but I'm actually not.

However I do want to speak to them about how they treat survivors of sexual assault. I made a birth plan which went against medical advice - signed off by my consultant as she was happy I'd understood the risks - but when I turned up to deliver, no one looked at my notes. They didn't realise I had a history of assault and that I felt very panicky about the birth, or that there were certain triggers that caused me to have actual panic attacks in labour. I ended up having to explain what had happened to me to everyone who walked through the door, and yes, please could I not have VEs or male staff if poss, etc. It was humiliating having to say "I was raped" or "I was assaulted as a child" to lots of strangers and I also felt like I had to "negotiate" from scratch with each person - no, I'm not wanting an epidural, yes I know the risks etc. This was quite stressful.

I want to suggest they have a system of alerting HCP on the delivery suite to rape survivors. I know not everyone has time to read a woman's notes properly but this is something quite a few women experience and childbirth can be really triggering.

Would you find that feedback helpful or annoying - "just another thing" to remember, or too much of a niche interest? Should patients in my position just suck it up as we can't cater to everyone? Or what? I'd like genuine opinions so I don't make a fool of myself in the meeting.

OP posts:
SpongeBobJudgeyPants · 24/04/2018 12:35

That sounds like worthwhile feedback to me Flowers

SporkInTheToaster · 24/04/2018 14:23

It is really important feedback that can mean trusts and individual units evaluate the effectiveness of the systems they have in place and make changes and/or offer staff specific training to improve things going forward. The feedback meeting gives you a chance to make a positive change for other women coming through the unit (and you if you give birth there again), for the staff who can improve their practice and with that in mind, it might help you psychologically move on from the situation.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 24/04/2018 16:52

Thanks both. I was going to suggest to them that they ask women if they want to disclose any history of assault at the booking in meeting and again at the birth plan meeting (in our trust, 8 and 32 weeks). Just like they ask about low mood/depression and domestic violence. They could then flag women's notes with something like a cheap coloured sticker on the front - discreet as no one seeing it would know what it was except staff. Staff would have a quick visual alert without even opening notes.

OP posts:
londonloves · 24/04/2018 17:28

I think this is really important feedback and I wish I had been clearer about it in my own birth feedback meeting.
It was documented in my notes that I was an assault survivor and also that I didn't want "unnecessary" vaginal examinations (who would?!) and that any genital contact had to be pre-explained and explicitly consented to. This was only broken once during the birth (to hold cord off my son's neck, fair enough) but in the aftermath various things had to happen to me and I could tell that the team didn't know the full history so my doula explained to them - I was very fortunate to have a doula to advocate for me, or the whole thing could have been a lot more traumatic.
Am just telling you my story so you know you're not alone and it's definitely valuable feedback.

Stopyourhavering64 · 26/04/2018 10:27

Re the sticker on front of notes to alert staff....at our trust we're not allowed to have any stickers on front of notes for any reason as its 'identifying'
Anything regarding patient safety ie drug allergy/ clinical trial patient has to be put on a red front sheet at very front of notes which then gets hidden/covered by various results/admin stuff, which defeats the whole purpose of the alert page

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 26/04/2018 11:09

Hi Stop.- they have stickers for other reasons like identifying himw birth pathway women, babies who will need treatment postnatally etc. Am hoping this is a sensible suggestion for them but if not they may have some other measure to suggest.

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