In a post earlier this week, I wrote about issues I had with a couple of NHS Trusts, hoping to be able to update you all in the not so distant future. Well, I do indeed have a bit of an update for you. It’s shocking how quickly you get a response from a body when you contact their CEOs directly. (If you ever need to find the contact details of a CEO, then look no further; I’m telling you it’s the best way to raise a complaint!)
I sent my complaint email to both Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, as well as Barts Health NHS Trust on Monday, thinking it would take some time to get a response…it did not…
Barts Health NHS Trust
The same afternoon I sent the complaint, I had an acknowledgement from Barts Health CEO (her Business Manager) to say they would investigate and get back to me asap with their findings and a response. That same afternoon I did a self-referral form for Whipps Cross Hospital to help the process along and I let the CEO know that was the case, and that I wanted to get an update on their capacity asap this week.
Come Wednesday, I had a call from the Midwifery Matrons at both Newham Hospital & Barking Birth Centre:
- They apologised profusely for the treatment we had experienced at both hospitals.
- They mentioned it’s not Barts Health policy to turn pregnant women away, which is interesting, so we’ll have to see what the other Trust has to say about their hospital sending us away…
- The issue with my sonogram at Newham would be further investigated by the Sonography Team and they would get in contact with us in due course.
- They would be investigating why I hadn’t received any information re: the UTI I apparently had in Feb.
- They ended the call by asking if there was any chance, we would consider going back under their care, and I said thank you, but no. They went on to say they felt like they had failed me, to which I said they had, but I appreciated the call.
- They promised to follow up the call with an email, but I am yet to receive that, so might have to chase that up with their CEO…
On Thursday, I then got a call from Whipps Cross to tell me they had the capacity and they’d love to take me on! If I had no complications, then the Lilac Birth Centre would be where I give birth. The lady also said she hoped they would perform better than Barking Birth Centre & Newham Hospital, and then booked me in for a phone consultation next Thursday. At least that’s sorted! Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 I can’t have a tour of the facility, but hopefully, I’ll be able to go in soon for an appointment and then I can have a little look around.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust
Similarly, I had a quick response from BHR Trust’s complaints department, apologising, saying they would be investigating and that one of the team from the department will give me a call to clarify some details/update me.
On Friday I got the call and an email follow-up. However, I found it interesting that they initially only mentioned that they would only be investigating the lack of privacy at King George’s Hospital when they turned me away. I had to go back and remind them that in fact, my main issue was that they turned me away in the first place and that’s what I expected a response for. She acknowledged this and said she would get back to me with a full response by the end of June (thanks to Covid-19).
I feel so much better to have raised my issues with both NHS bodies, and that something is now being done and we’re being taken seriously. We’ll have to see how Whipps Cross Hospital/Lilac Birth Centre performs for us, and what comes of the investigations, but thus far at least I’ve been guaranteed two of the three things I wanted to achieve:
- An apology from both NHS Trusts
- Admission to the Lilac Birth Centre – it’s yet to be seen if they’ll make us feel comfortable enough to not go private but at least there’s hope
The lesson here is always speak up.