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"Birth of our second child, not the best start."

About: Box Hill Hospital / Maternity Service

(as the patient),

Mid December 2015 early morning it all started. My waters broke at home and we knew we will soon welcome our second little boy. Unlike my first this was a new experience as I was induced with our first child. So I called the hospital to ask what I should do either stay at home or come in. I was told I had to come in (bit of background: my first labour was extremely quick so I was told the whole way through this pregnancy that I shouldn't wait once I start getting contractions because I could have another fast labour).

Upon arriving at the hospital we were confronted by a midwife that was less than helpful and very rude to myself and my partner. At this point I had had 3 contractions in 15. She came back and handed me two panadene fort and said, take these and come back sometime later and go to Fmac (metal monitoring centre) and we will see if you’re in labour. At this point I said, well when should I come back, then I was told, labour is labour you'll just know, to which my partner said, she wants to know what you consider labour she didn't go through this last time. She replied, 3 contractions in 10mins. I had already had 3 in 15 mins and I knew it was getting longer and closer, she then proceeded to tell me that my last labour was spontaneous to which I replied, no I was induced. Then she said, no it was spontaneous it’s in your notes (I think I of all people would know what labour I had). I was so distressed by this! Obviously I think she had realised she had done something wrong and never came back (not even an apology) and it seemed to me sent another midwife in to talk to me who delivered my last son and who told me to stay and I’ll be assessed at shift change. By then my contractions were 3 mins apart! Long story short, I had our son 6 hours later, so if I had gone home I either would have had him at home or on the side of the road! Other than that horrible midwife the other midwives who delivered our boy were beyond amazing and I could not thank them enough for all they did. Box Hill Hospital I hope you know what some of your staff are like, especially to woman in such a vulnerable state. I hate now telling my birth story due to what happened and I hate the fact that I cannot give Box hill hospital a glowing review all because of this one experience.

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Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 8 years ago
Alan Lilly
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 8/01/2016 at 6:08 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 1:53 PM

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear A little let down

Can I start by saying how sorry I am to read about your experience - it's not good enough and please be reassured, I feel a little let down too.

I am totally disheartened and disappointed to read about your experience and I will be sure to follow-up this up immediately. It's an example of when 9/10 interactions are positive but the 1/10 is so devastating, it's overwhelming. Whenever I welcome new staff to Eastern Health, we always talk about making "every interaction, a positive interaction" and I am just so sorry that this is not what you have experienced on this occasion.

However, focusing on the positives too, congratulations on the birth of your second baby boy and I hope that you and your growing family have otherwise got off to a good start in 2016.

I would like to be able to follow this up further and therefore, we have a couple of options: (I) I can pass this on as general feedback in which case it will serve as a general reminder to all staff or (ii) we could look at shift records so that we could discuss your experience with specific members of staff. All of our staff members are required to wear both Photo ID and white name badges. I will respect your decision either way but if you would like to provide specific information, you are welcome to contact me confidentially on email at (please note that whilst I will be on leave after today through to February, your email will still be responded to).

Once again A little let down I am just so sorry that such a happy occasion was saddened by this initial interaction with our service and please be reassured that we are committed to learning from this.

Thanks again and I hope to hear from you.

kind regards, Alan Lilly

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