"Mistreated and poor conduct"

About: Armadale Hospital / Birth Suite (and Antenatal Assessment Unit) Armadale Hospital / Maud Bellas Maternity Ward & Neonatal Nursery

(as a relative),

I am writing this story as a witness for the traumatic experience my sister had with Armadale Hospital maternity midwife staff recently. She was induced on the first night. Her partner was forced to leave when visiting hours finished (as she wasn’t in the labour ward apparently – that’s apparently the policy). Her waters then broke at 11pm and minor contractions started. She then was given a shot of morphine in her leg without choice or consent I believe causing her labour to stop! Nothing happened all night. In the morning she was assessed and had another gel put in to try again for inducing. Time went on and in the afternoon she was moved to the labour ward to bring labour on through the drip. About 2 hours later I was called up to be her second support person. About an hour after I went up she had an epidural inserted, which fell out/stopped working an hour later (they didn’t know this until they checked later).

Late that night her partner went for a sleep and I took over. A couple of hours went by and her contractions got stronger and closer together. I then started waking the partner up to be awake and support the birth of his own child, however I got in trouble by the midwife every time I tried to wake him and was told to leave him and let him sleep. Meanwhile my sister was distressed because of it. Luckily the last night I didn’t care or listen to the midwife and finally woke him up as their child was born 50 minutes later. During her pushing time the baby got stuck and the midwives then called code blue and had to pull/force the baby out. Midwives were everywhere trying to keep my sister and partner calm as their baby wasn’t crying. Their baby was resuscitated and after several minutes went by the baby finally cried giving me and our dad relief. My sister lost a lot of blood and was rushed to theatre, unaware of what was going on. Dad and I went to see the baby in the nursery as that’s where they were taken, only to see their baby extremely bruised with a possible broken arm from the way they were delivered. After my sister had surgery she was then placed in intensive care for a minimum 12-24 hours. Our mum, whom is my sister’s next of kin, wasn’t contacted about any of it! The following day, everything was fine until my sister was back in maternity.

My sister went to go and feed the baby in the nursery and was told otherwise, as her baby was sleeping and not to disturb them. She wasn’t even allowed to hold her baby. She decided to stop breastfeeding for personal reasons and felt she was disrespected and guilted for her decision. Later that afternoon/night when family were visiting, another midwife had taken over her care. She was all nice to start off with until we weren't around. I believe they then treated my sister with a lot of disrespect and appeared quite rude. While we were all still there, they were informing another relative (from his side) how to do the child’s bottles and not telling my sister anything and seemed to completely ignore my sister! When asked if they could teach her to bath the baby their response was, how hard can it be? My sister is a first time mum, you tell me?!

Discharging - while waiting to be discharged, Mum and I were getting everything prepared for my sister’s little family to go home. The midwife who was present at the time (unsure of their name), in my opinion was quite rude towards myself and my mum. Then they realised the baby hadn’t had their needles either.

I could go on and on, but in the end we are not very happy. I would not recommend this hospital to anyone. I feel we are all just lucky my sister and her newborn survived.

Responses

Response from Diane Barr, Executive Director, Armadale Kalamunda Group

picture of Diane Barr

Dear fruitcake,

I am extremely sorry to read the experience you described for both yourself, your sister and family. The birth of a new family member is one of the most precious and memorable moments in life and I am very sorry we did not meet your care and communication needs on this very special day.

The Midwife Nurse Coordinator, Women, Children and Medical has reviewed your feedback and has shared your experience with the midwifery team in the unit. The midwives are both saddened and disappointed that the care and communication has had a significant impact on your family’s experience.

At Armadale Hospital, it is our intention that our midwives are committed to providing care, education, advice and support to women and their families during pregnancy, labour and birth and the postnatal period; acknowledging the importance of the woman-midwife relationship facilitating a positive childbearing experience.

Your story will be used to further promote the above intention to not only the team involved on the day, but also to the full midwifery unit as part of our ongoing education and improvement program.

Further to the above I would welcome and encourage you to consider a face-to-face meeting with our Midwife Nurse Coordinator, Women, Children and Medical. It is evident this was a traumatic and challenging situation for your family, acknowledging the emergency situations you were all involved in. It may be helpful to talk through the experience particularly the emergency care and the resuscitation. This would give opportunity for you to expand on concerns you have raised and ask any questions you have been left with.

I hope your sister and her newborn are both recovering well. If there is anything we can do to support the ongoing care for your family in the post-natal period, again our Midwife Nurse Coordinator, Women, Children and Medical would be happy to facilitate.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us and to bring your concerns to my attention.

Yours sincerely

Diane Barr

Executive Director

Armadale Kalamunda Group

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful
;