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"Horrific experience at the hospital"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

My husband and I decided to add one more precious bundle to our family. Since having our last child we cancelled maternity care on our private health insurance but heard that BRH was just as amazing as another hospital so we were confident we wouldn’t have any issues with our elective C-section.

On arrival the ward staff appeared confused about my scheduled c-section - I was then put into the room I was going to be in for the duration of my visit. There was already another woman in there who had given birth during the night, I believe she was having trouble settling her new baby and I feel it would have been more difficult having my mother and I there waiting to go down to theatre as she was seemingly quite distressed about her new bundle - not that I saw any staff come to check if she was ok despite using the 'nurse button'. Eventually, someone did arrive, but to me that’s not the point.

I went to the bathroom to find a pretty dirty bathroom, dust on the sills and old blood on the floor and blood dripping down the rubbish bin - this was here the whole 2 and a half days that I was there.

There were 2 different families there while I was there.

The lowest point in my life was the feeling of being so vulnerable after a c-section and having to walk past another family who had a new baby - with all my bits out, struggling with pain and being semi-naked. I am sure they felt awkward also, it was extremely degrading and just a terrible and mortifying experience in general. In my opinion, C-section patients should get their own room, it is major surgery and not so glorious in those first few days. Some privacy wouldn’t hurt - especially since there were at least 3 empty rooms that I saw.

It seems the morale at the hospital is down, I believe there is no denying that. It appeared no one was happy to be there. A couple of times when my baby didn’t settle I walked out with my baby looking for help, no one jumped at me to help.

When my baby was born it was established that they had a tongue tie. I believe it was also very apparent that they were having trouble latching to me to feed and each nurse said it was because of their tongue tie and they would get a paed to come and look at it to get it sorted. No-one turned up which resulted in a very upset and hungry baby, and therefore a very upset mama who after 2 days had to suggest formula. There was a couple of helpful nurses, don’t get me wrong, and those ones that were, I do thank for helping where they could. I’m not sure if it is, as I see it, a lack of staff or lack of care that makes the hospital run in this way. I never did end up seeing anyone for my baby's tongue tie which now they are having formula. A decision I feel I had no choice in as they were starving and needed something.

The theatre staff I must say were all amazing and made me feel welcome and valued and excited I was having my baby. I believe the ward staff, however, need either more training or more staff. Having a baby may be just a job to them, but to a mother, having a baby is a special and rewarding time that sadly for me only left me feeling angry and sad about my experience.

All in all I feel the hospital needs a damn good clean, I made the decision to go home after 2 days as I felt it was cleaner and safer for us to heal at home rather than in what I felt was an unhelpful and dirty hospital.

Rather disappointing to say the least!


Response from Ceri Elliott, A/Director of Nursing & Midwifery, Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West last month
We are preparing to make a change
Ceri Elliott
A/Director of Nursing & Midwifery, Bunbury Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 15/09/2021 at 10:59
Published on Care Opinion at 12:01

Dear guidehz58,

Thank you for taking the time to share your birthing experience at Bunbury Hospital on Care Opinion. I was truly saddened to read your feedback and would love the opportunity to speak with you directly and apologise that the care we provided wasn’t at a level that it should have been.

The birth of a baby is such a memorable occasion, and it should be for all the right reasons and not because of the state of the room, nor that you were left feeling so awful. I would like to apologise for the concerns you raised.

I will be having a discussion with the manager of support services and reviewing the cleaning processes on the ward, ensuring that staffing is adequate and cleaning done efficiently and thoroughly.

Unfortunately, our department does have a mix of shared and single rooms. I agree that more single rooms would be wonderful and this has been flagged with the expansion of the department through the redevelopment, but regrettably, that is a few years away.

We are also implementing a new lactation consultant service within the next month, and this will enable us to provide specialist breastfeeding support and advice, particularly once you have been discharged home. Again this doesn’t help you now, but I wanted to assure you that we are constantly working to improve our service to provide the best quality care possible.

I would love to have the opportunity to also provide your feedback directly to the Midwifery and Paediatric staff involved in your care, enabling them to reflect upon the care they provided. If you are happy to, I would greatly appreciate it if you could reach out to us again. My name is Ceri Elliot and I am the Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Bunbury Hospital. Please feel free to call me at a time that is convenient to you on 9722 1422 or 0447 793 904.

Again, thank you for sharing your story with us. I do hope that we hear from you soon.

Ceri Elliott

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