A survey of patients in the Vale of White Horse district shows criticism of the John Radcliffe maternity department’s aftercare.
And while hospital chiefs have denied the Horton is used as a safety valve to ensure expert care for everyone during busy periods, the 18-month-old survey shows south Oxfordshire patients do come to Banbury to have their babies – and like it.
The survey by White Horse Medical Practice patient participation group records mothers’ views on clinical and after care at the JR, the Wallingford midwife-only unit, Swindon hospital, the Horton, the Spires midwife unit on level seven at the JR and home births.
One mum who had travelled from Faringdon to the Horton to have her baby said: “I was planning to give birth at my local midwife unit but I had to be induced, so needed to be booked in at hospital. Since the JR was fully booked we had to go to Banbury, much further away so I was disappointed at first but ended up being more quiet and a more relaxing experience than I had previously at the JR.”
The two south Oxon women who gave birth at the Horton rated its facilities, anti-natal and post-natal care as ‘excellent’.
While some comments about care at the JR were very positive others were alarming.
One said: “Horrific. They didn’t tell me I had haemorrhaged, sent me to the shower on my own after having a catheter removed and I collapsed. They only then put me on a drip. I couldn’t move and my baby was crying.
“Midwife started shouting at me to pick him up when I physically couldn’t. This made me have an anxiety attack.”
Another said: “The aftercare at the JR was shocking. I nearly ran away in the middle of the night as it was so bad. Next time I will try the next county rather than go back to the JR.”
A third said: “Due to short staffing my experience was very traumatic and worse than it should have been.”
“I was left with no midwife for most of my labour. Had to ask for gas and air. I was left in pools of blood after the birth waiting for midwife to stitch me up. Again had to wait in blood filled sheets after as she had to attend another labour,” said a fourth.