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Expectant fathers treat Edinburgh’s NHS maternity ward ‘as a hotel’ by ordering takeaways

Expectant fathers are accused of treating an NHS maternity ward ‘like a hotel’ by sharing beds with their partners and ordering takeaway – making mothers too embarrassed to breastfeed

  • New moms say too embarrassed to breastfeed because so many men
  • Employees of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary say their ability to provide care is affected
  • Overcrowding creates a fire hazard and makes it difficult to reach emergency buzzers

Midwives have accused prospective fathers of treating maternity departments ‘like a hotel’ by sharing beds with their partners and ordering takeaway meals.

New mothers are said to be ashamed to breastfeed or to be swapped because so many men reside in the postnatal unit in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Employees who have filed a complaint with bosses claim that they have been told ‘just accept it’, despite the presence of visitors who put pressure on their ability to provide care.

They also said that the overcrowding even posed a fire hazard and made it difficult to reach emergency people and prevent the spread of infections.

Midwives in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (photo) have accused prospective fathers of treating maternity departments 'like a hotel' by sharing beds with their partners and ordering takeaway meals

Midwives in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (photo) have accused prospective fathers of treating maternity departments ‘like a hotel’ by sharing beds with their partners and ordering takeaway meals

An obstetrician told it The times: ‘The birth and the postnatal period must be about women and babies and we must bow to men who treat it like a hotel.

‘It is a fire hazard because you have no idea how many people are in the department at the same time and there has been absolutely no consultation about this.

One in three maternity doctors in the UK has “burned out”

Newborns and their mothers are at risk for sub-standard care because doctors are so exhausted, a study in November warned.

Researchers at Imperial College London discovered that more than one in three obstetricians suffer from burnout.

They claim that this causes staff to care less about patients and their jobs – which increases the risk of blunders.

The survey among 3000 obstetricians and gynecologists also showed that stressed doctors were four times more likely to show signs of ‘defensive’ medical practices.

These include avoiding difficult cases or procedures and prescribing medications for convenience, which can endanger both mothers and their babies.

Burned-out doctors were also six times more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and four times more likely to report depression, the study found.

They were three times more likely to experience anxiety, irritability or anger and often had problems with sleeping and relationships.

Researchers discovered that 36 percent of all qualified doctors fell into the stressed category, while 46 percent of trainees probably also suffered.

“There are women in the ward who feel uncomfortable and ashamed to change or breastfeed because of the number of visitors who stay there and their sleep is disturbed.”

It is understood that at least two staff members have contacted the director of NHS Lothian, who runs the hospital. But their complaints are deaf, according to the newspaper.

Midwives said that expectant fathers should be ‘encouraged’ to stay at home, but they are defying.

Alex McMahon, director of NHS Lothian, said that fathers should not be sent home because many mothers need support after childbirth.

He said: ‘Like all boards, NHS Lothian implements the guidelines in the five-year action plan for maternity care and neonatal care, issued by NHS Scotland, called Best Start.

“It says that fathers, partners, and other family members must be actively encouraged and supported to become an integral part of all aspects of caring for mothers and newborns.

“As part of that, some mothers like their partners to support them at this special moment and to be involved in caring for their baby from the start.”

Dr. Mary Ross-Davie, director of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for Scotland, said it was an established practice for fathers to stay in maternity wards for months, even years.

She added: “After a few teething problems, the feedback we have heard in other areas is generally positive – employees often find the presence of partners a useful addition to supporting new mothers.

“The physical space available in some departments, however, makes a large number of extra people staying in the area … sometimes difficult.

“We will certainly work with local managers to find shared solutions for the concerns raised.”

Blundering NHS doctors let women receive tampons and surgical cotton buds until FIVE DAYS after their birth, report reveals

Women are left with severe pain because medical staff leave cotton buds and tampons in their vagina after delivery, researchers warned in December.

A report revealed that the maternity departments of the NHS are injured by the mistakes and have trouble preventing them.

Between April 2015 and March 2018, vaginal smears were left on patients on 91 occasions, which represented more than a quarter of all ‘stuck foreign objects’.

The NHS regards the mistake as a ‘Never Event’, mistakes that should never be made.

Surgical tampons are much larger than normal (pictured, bottom versus top) and are believed to be removed when a procedure is completed. Leaving them behind can have devastating consequences

Surgical tampons are much larger than normal (pictured, bottom versus top) and are believed to be removed when a procedure is completed. Leaving them behind can have devastating consequences

Surgical tampons are much larger than normal (pictured, bottom versus top) and are believed to be removed when a procedure is completed. Leaving them behind can have devastating consequences

Experts say that there is too much room for errors in the processes that employees go through to remind themselves to remove the connections.

A report from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) revealed the case of a new mother, only known as Christine.

Christine, 30, had inserted a surgical tampon after the birth of her first child and the staff let it in for five days.

Surgical tampons are much larger than normal ones used for periods and must be removed at the end of a surgical procedure.

Christine remained terrified, but did not understand why.

She saw a midwife in the community and her doctor twice before returning to the hospital, where a doctor picked up the problem.

“Although measures have been taken to reduce the chance that cotton buds and tampons are left behind, it continues to happen,” said Sandy Lewis of the HSIB.

Ms. Lewis is the director of a maternity research program at HSIB and said the mistakes “bring women in pain and fear.”

‘There are countless physical effects; pain, bleeding and possible infections, but we cannot forget the psychological impact as in the case of Christine, “said Mrs. Lewis.

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