"Birth of my bub"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

I had my first appointment at Box Hill hospital when I was 3 months into my pregnancy. On our first visit, my husband and I met with a midwife who explained in detail what we should expect in the months to ahead. We were given booklets, pamphlets and a whole lot of information which then seemed like information overload. But then, once we got back home, we realized how professional and how very thorough everything had been. First impression was impressive! ! From then on, every monthly checkup has been smooth and every midwife / doctor who we have met has been amazingly friendly, caring and extremely professional. They made me feel assured, at ease and all my fears were put to rest. As a woman, who is going through the pregnancy journey for the first time in her life, it is essential that she feels comfortable, guided and well-informed throughout the pregnancy and such was the care meted out. My pregnancy was fairly simple and uncomplicated, except that I was GBS positive and I had a negative blood group. At every stage, we were able to make informed decisions as the midwives helped us differentiate between the myths and facts.

Towards the end of my pregnancy journey, we attended child birth classes conducted by midwife Emma over 2 Saturdays (which are paid services at Box Hill hospital). Emma was so very thorough and answered every question that a new parent-to-be would have, covering a broad range of topics such as going into labour, stages of labour, entrance to hospital at business and off-peak hours, what to bring to hospital when in labour, breastfeeding, facilities available at the hospital, types of births the hospital can support - dry birth / water birth etc and even gave us a tour of the birthing suites. We also got to meet other parents-to-be at the session who were into similar stages of their pregnancy with whom we still continue to be in touch with, exchanging stories of our bubs, sharing experiences etc. To this day, we are thankful to the hospital for prepping us so well for the big day and afterwards. I also attended a free breastfeeding session conducted by the Lactation Support Unit staff at the hospital which came in very handy after the birth of my bub.

So when my labour pains started at 10pm at night, my husband and I were aware of when to call the hospital and all the information that we had gathered at the child birth classes was put to good use. We rushed to the hospital at approx. 3 am when I was getting contractions every 3-4 minutes and I was admitted for the birth of my baby. The midwives who cared for me right from 3am, all the way until 3pm (nearly around the time when my bub was born) were simply awesome! ! A special thanks to midwives Nicola (for being assertive and making me believe in my strengths), Lindsay and Beth (student midwife) for working as a team in monitoring my contractions and guiding me to deliver my beautiful baby after hours of excruciating labour pain!

As mine was a normal vaginal delivery, I was at the hospital for 2 days following the birth of my baby. During this time, my bub and I were treated with a lot of care and attention. The midwives on call helped me to get comfortable with breastfeeding and they were at our beck and call every time we had difficulty settling our bub. I was also being provided special vegetarian food at the hospital which was mind-blowing! Following the discharge from the hospital, we had midwives visiting us at home to examine both bub and me. As my bub had jaundice, we had a midwife visit us at least twice to check on her and to take her blood samples. The handover from the midwife to the maternal child health nurse was also fairly simple.

Overall, the experience has been mind-blowing, except for the parking facilities.

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Responses

Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Pumahe

First of all, many congratulations on the birth of your new baby - what a great way to start the new year and as you will know, there's nothing like a new baby to bring happiness into everyone's day!

And thank you so much for sharing your story on Patient Opinion.

It is really heartening to read stories like yours which capture "the journey" right from receiving initial information, through to birthing classes, lactation advice and then through to the delivery itself and finally, care at home. I think we should feel proud to have this health system at our door step.

Thanks also for special mentions to Nicola. Lindsay and Beth - I will be sure to pass your feedback onto them and to the Maternity Service and I will also write to the Box Hill Hospital management team - it's always really nice to receive such positive feedback.

I am so pleased that you were so very happy with the service and care provided and note your comment too on the parking facilities. If there were specific issues in this regard, please let me know and I will gladly follow-up.

In the meantime, I wish you and your family well in 2016.

Kind regards and many thanks, Alan Lilly.

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Update posted by pumahe (the patient)

Thanks Alan. Parking charges at the hospital are expensive, due to which my husband had parked outside the hospital, but due to the time limits, he had to remind himself to move the car every so often. He even incurred a fine when he was delayed by 5 minutes for not having moved the car.

Also, the other item that I felt was slightly annoying in my experience was the stem cell donation. I had already sent in my letter stating that I was happy to donate the stem cell. However, the person who was in charge of this arrived when I was in labour with a sheet full of questions ... I was barely conscious and suffering with labour pains when all these questions were posed at me. She did not even know that I had already sent through my donation letter voluntarily. I had to remind her. I feel that the stem cell donation questions to the patient, which I understand are mandatory, should be posed to the patient at a better time and not when in labour.

Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Pumahe

Thank you for following up the matter of the car parking charges which I know this can be problematic from time to time. Whilst we have pleasingly created more capacity for on-site car parking, the other side of that is that we also need to pay back our loans for building the car parks.

The Box Hill Hospital Precinct also has a significant number of car parking spaces available, including at Box Hill Hospital, Epworth Eastern Hospital and Box Hill TAFE. A mixture of metered and unmetered parking near the hospital site is also available for use in and around the Box Hill Hospital site.

Box Hill Hospital has more than 200 off-street car spaces available for patients and visitors, with additional spaces set to come on-line soon. The cost of parking at Box Hill Hospital is comparable to other major hospitals in Melbourne, with pricing benchmarked regularly with other major hospitals. We also have concession parking available to patients and carers who have special circumstances and we also provide disabled parking and a drop-off and pick-up zone at the hospital’s front entrance.

Eastern Health regularly reviews parking at our sites. This includes communicating with our patients and visitors on ways to improve car parking at our facilities. We acknowledge it is an ongoing issue and will continue to work closely with local councils and organisations near the hospital site to ensure there are a range of options for patients, visitors and staff.

Thanks again for your feedback and I hope this information is also useful.

Finally, with regard to your comments on stem cell donation, I must admit that I don't know much about this but your suggestion sounds very sensible. I will discuss this with the Maternity program staff. Thanks again.

With best wishes for 2016, Alan Lilly

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Response from Jo Gatehouse, Director, Quality, Planning and Innovation (Acute Health and Consumer Participation and Patient Experience), Eastern Health We are preparing to make a change

picture of Jo Gatehouse

Dear Pumahe,

Alan Lilly has asked me to follow up with you in relation to the process for stem cell donation as he is currently on leave.

The Cord Blood Service Nurses advise that following the completion of a short application form during the antennal period, an alert sticker is placed in women’s hand held record identifying them as a cord blood donor.

Once a woman attends the unit in labour, the cord blood nurses are contacted (during business hours only) and they meet with the potential donor (on admission to Birth Suite) and go through the paperwork; consent form and health declaration - this is a very comprehensive document with 17 questions on the declaration & a full A4 consent form which requires signature of mother and witnesses.

As you experienced, this can prove challenging depending on how the labour is progressing. Women are, of course, able to decline to continue at any time during the process.

The Cord Blood Nurses acknowledge that the current process is far from ideal and are always sensitive to women’s willingness and ability to progress with their cord blood donation on an individual basis. They are currently looking at ways to improve the service, particularly the process of completing declaration and consent forms.

Thank you again for your feedback.

I do hope that you are enjoying your new bub and that all is going well!

Warm Regards,

Jo Gatehouse

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