University College Hospital
Written by a patient
19th December 2020
I had both my children at this hospital. I doubt there's a safer place to have a baby in the world - if something goes wrong you have the best surgeons which is why I chose it. However the level of organisation and standards of the other staff is a different story - with my first child they left me screaming in agony for days at home because my contractions - despite being extremely strong - were not close enough together. The cleaning ladies nearly broke the toilet door down while I was giving a sample because I was in so much distress - but computer said no and I was sent home. It turned out that the reason I needed a last minute c section (not dilating) was the same as the reason they wouldn't let me in the hospital - I am not a doctor but that sounds like a dangerous situation to me. The only reason they let me in eventually was because my waters started breaking. If they hadn't I'd probably still be screaming in my house. I was so destroyed by the labour it really didn't occur to me to complain but now I really regret it.
For my second I chose to stay with UCLH after they promised that with my history I'd be allowed straight into the labour ward. We arrived at the labour ward, standing in front of an empty birthing room (where I eventually laboured) waters and blood running down my legs and screaming in agony. We were told the place was full and I had to go to the foetal assessment unit downstairs. This was full of people waiting to be seen and was very humiliating for me. The staff there took one look at me and said I had to go back upstairs - someone ran up to me with a wheelchair which they smashed into the back of my legs. I was taken back to the room I had been standing in front of 5 minutes ago. Two midwives checked my dilation which caused some of my waters to break - I heard them say 'haha she's peeing'. I was not. There was a full page in my notes that said in large letters the anaesthetist should do my cannula - these women did not see it and did it anyway, causing a lot of pain and telling me off for not being able to cope with it. Hours later in my last minute episiotomy it somehow slipped and the anaesthetist had to put another one in my other hand. Again, I was so destroyed by this labour that complaining about it was the last thing that occurred to me, although now I wish I had taken every avenue available to me as I do not believe this treatment was acceptable.