Community Services - Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
Review of Community Antenatal - Upminster and Cranham Village Midwives ,
24th September 2021
My pregnancy occurred during the peak of the pandemic when “great care” seemed to be a unobtainable luxury due to changes in how care was provided. It was my first ongoing pregnancy after 10 miscarriages. I was happy but worried at the same time because of my history. I started off without a midwife and at a point I wasn’t sure whether I was coming or going due to lack of clarity. My pregnancy begun to be complicated by raised blood pressure and I had to come to the DAU for regular blood pressure checks. During one of my DAU visits, I met Annie McLoughlin who heard I had no midwife. Annie did not hesitate in offering to be my midwife by joining the Village team. That was the day everything changed for me. My care begun to make sense to me: I had structure, clear plan and pathway and someone to contact as required. Annie is such a great first class midwife. She was always there when I needed her. Annie is caring, hard working, compassionate, respectful, dedicated to her job and works with so much passion it made me feel I was in good hands at all times. I had faith in Annie and trusted her judgements. Annie never put a foot wrong. A very professional midwife who was excellent in her interpersonal skills. Annie made me FEEL SAFE and this was very important to me especially as my pregnancy got complicated.
As the pregnancy progressed I also received care from other members of her team including Imogen Davies, Laura and Tamsyn. I could not fault any aspect of the care I received from any of these midwives. In fact there was no disparity between them and Annie. I never had to repeat my history to any of them. One could tell they had good communication system within their team and perhaps good handover. Annie and her fellow midwives really deserve to be recognised by the Trust for the quality of care they provide.
The beauty of being under the Village team is that the quality of care I received antenatally continued through my delivery and postnatally. I must also mention very importantly, Margo Sherman. Her attention to detail highlighted my baby’s pathological jaundice. When Margo came to see me, my baby was nearly 23 hrs old. Had she not come to see me in hospital when she did, the pathological jaundice may have been missed. It may have been recognised as a physiological jaundice instead and my baby would not have had the correct treatment. Margo and her team of midwives are the best thing that happen to maternity care in Queens and I have since song their praises to everyone. I would hand on my heart recommend them for every woman. The Continuity of Care with the Village team is in my opinion a safety net and it would be great if every woman had the opportunity to experience it. This is midwifery at its best.
Whilst on the postnatal ward, I was discharged on paper by the postnatal midwife at 13:00. But I was not feeling well enough so I had to wait in my room for my husband to come and take me home. By 18:00 he had still not arrived. The midwife who discharged me was about to go home so she came into my room and took the discharge paperwork and changed the discharge time to 18:00. No care was provided to me since 13:00. What she didn’t realise was I had deteriorated in my health between 13:00 and 18:00 but no one had seen me because in theory I was discharged. Unfortunately at around 19:30, I fitted and was rushed to HDU where my blood pressure was noted to be 200+/160+. I was treated with magnesium sulphate and labetalol infusion, had CT of the head and neuro review.
This is a near miss which could have been avoided if the midwives on the ward had at least checked me whilst I was still on the ward.