"Wonderful midwives at Box Hill Hospital."

About: Box Hill Hospital / Maternity Service

(as the patient),

There was not one midwife that I met that I didn't like, they were all great at explaining the whole process, and did it in a wonderful manner.

I had two issues with the whole process:

1. Each and every time I went to the hospital I met with a different doctor or midwife and each time I had to explain my story afresh, it would be great to just have one or two doctors or midwives that one meets with throughout the whole process.

2. My other issue was that throughout the time I met with the doctors and midwives I met with one doctor near the end of the pregnancy that I was truly concerned about. This particular doctor was a concern - we met with her because I had a low lying placenta, and I had been sent to do an extra ultrasound at week 36 in order to see if by any chance my placenta had moved. In my previous meeting Dr Stephanie had tentatively booked me in for a caesarean section, to be confirmed or cancelled after my ultrasound and meeting with this particular doctor. At the appointment the doctor didn't seem to know what she was doing. She was about to get me to do the GHD test, when in fact I'd completed the test 4 weeks prior and the results were in my file, after I explained that and we confirmed my placenta had moved she agreed that we should cancel the caesarean. Two days after the appointment I received a confirmation letter for the caesarean in her name – it seemed to me that she had completely messed up the one thing she was meant to do. In my case it didn't matter because I knew what was going on, but it worries me what could happen to people who don't speak English well, or are unsure of themselves and think they made a mistake when in fact it may have been the doctor that made a mistake. I am happy to put in a formal complaint if you need it. The other issue I had with her was her terrible bed side manners. Throughout my pregnancy I had asked for a water birth, and the midwives had explained that as long I was still on the green path and as long as on the night of the birth there was a qualified midwife available I could do it, but when I mentioned it to her, she said, in a rather rude tone, 'you'll have to see on the night and only if there is a qualified midwife available, we can't have one on call just for you'. I know it is the same explanation that the midwives gave me, but the tone was just wrong.

On a much more positive note I wanted to add that each and every one of the midwives I met with were great and really looked after me, from Jenny who was the qualified water birth midwife to Jenny who looked after me in the morning after the birth of my daughter, to Ket who gave me great tips about breast feeding, to Jane and Eloise who came to the house following the birth of my baby, to Bree and Andrea who I met with and were great at explaining everything when there was a chance I would have to do a caesarean. There are many more whose names I don't remember but they were all amazing. It was a wonderful experience overall, and I loved having these wonderful ladies look after me. For them and a good system I am very thankful.

Responses

Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Naz

First of all many congratulations on the birth of your baby daughter - how exciting for you and your family - babies universally bring lots of joy, that's for sure. I do hope that things are going well for you.

Secondly, I really do appreciate you sharing your very balanced story on Patient Opinion and I will be sure to pass on your feedback to our staff and especially those that you have named - it's always really good to receive feedback on where we do things well and as you have outlined, where we need to improve.

I am sorry to read about the experience which you have had with one of our doctors and I would like to follow this up further. Your story reminds me of the saying "it's not what you say, it's the way that you say it" and as you point out, the advice was not inconsistent but it appeared rude and with "a tone".

I think the best way to follow this through would be for one of our senior staff to give you a call. At the same time, they can also discuss the various options we have for care during your pregnancy and they can also address your comments around continuity (as we have what we call different models of care).

Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and please be reassured that I am equally committed to following-up and improving our services to people like you in our community.

If you would like us to call you, please email me directly at alan.lilly@easternhealth.org.au and I will ensure that we do that for you. I hope to hear from you.

kind regards, Alan Lilly.

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Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

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Dear Naz

Thanks again for getting in touch with me by private email. I have asked Janet Horman from our Maternity Service to give you a call which she is very happy to do.

I am sure we can address you're concerns.

Kind regards and thanks, Alan Lilly

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Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Naz

Hello there again Naz - just to close off on this, I understand that Janet Horman has now spoken to and advised you that our Executive Clinical Director of Obstetrics will follow-up individually with the doctor concerned. As you know, we are also reviewing our models of care at the moment, recognising that continuity of care and carer is very important indeed. I have passed on your other very positive feedback to the team as well.

Once again, thank you for sharing your feedback and in doing so, allowing us to address your concerns in a timely manner.

kind regards, Alan Lilly

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Update posted by Naz (the patient)

Thanks Alan,

Yes Janet got in touch with me and I really appreciate all the follow up and the way my feedback was treated.

If you need any help from me, don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks again

Naz

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