"Negative Birthing Experience"

About: King Edward Memorial Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

From the beginning the appointment system is flawed - sending letters out that are received after your appointment date is useless. Also the wait time to see your health professional is so inconsistent, some times I would wait half an hour after my time, and on one occasion I waited hours for my appointment. 

I was in the main hospital for my prenatal appointments and between midwives and then obstetricians. The obstetricians were mildly better but I had to constantly explain my previous pregnancies each time I saw a staff member (sometimes twice per appointment) and re-explain all of my symptoms and issues each time which was emotionally exhausting. I never saw the same midwife/OB twice. 50% would completely ignore my husband when he attended with me which in my opinion was very rude and off-putting. 

The staff on the monitoring ward and ultrasound rooms were friendly and easy to talk to but again the wait time for each of those was ridiculous. I would have to block out my whole day/afternoon for one appointment.

I was induced and was waiting 5 hours after my booking to get examined. The room I was in was next to a storage room which had a huge window and throughout the night I was woken up by lights in the room and heavy banging noises etc.

In the morning I was moved out, but again had to wait 2 hours for a doctor to insert my drip which they did wrong so had to wait another half an hour for it to be redone, and then waiting another hour to have my waters broken and the drip to be started.

Once I had started on my drip they had to take me off the drip and stop my labour because of staffing issues. It was then 5 hours before I was able to re-start my labour. I asked for an epidural, waited for that, the anesthetist was quite rude and unhelpful in my opinion (I've had 2 epidurals before and this was the worst one). After about half an hour I noticed the contractions were getting more painful, and they called back the anesthetist to re-do it. They were causing me more pain trying to re-do the epidural and rude again, due to the pain I decided to not have an epidural.

I reported to the midwives that I felt like I needed to start pushing, at this point no one examined me to see if I was fully dilated or not. They just said go with what you feel and then proceeded to do other tasks around the room like refilling stock and paperwork while I was in excruciating pain and unsure whether or not I should be pushing. It was only right before the baby came out did they actually help me and tell me to push.

After handover, after my baby was born, the new midwife was very kind and helpful. Once I was moved to the ward the staff were friendly and helpful and attentive. We left hospital the next afternoon and was grateful to be out of the hospital.


Response from Graeme Boardley, Director, Midwifery, Nursing and Patient Support Services, Women and Newborn Health Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital

picture of Graeme Boardley

Dear paprikac

Thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns regarding your recent experience with the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

The Women and Newborn Health Service strives to provide quality, patient-centered care and I am sorry that this was not your experience with our service.

So that I can have this matter investigated thoroughly for you, can I ask you to contact the Customer Service Unit on 6458 1444 or kemhcsu@health.wa.gov.au to provide your contact details. We will then conduct a review of the matters stated in your post regarding your scheduled appointments and your experience with the hospital during the birth of your baby. We will then contact you to provide you with the outcomes of the review and to notify you of any changes and improvements made to the way we deliver our service.

Thank you once again for your feedback. Congratulations on the birth of your baby and I wish you and your family all the best for the future.

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