If you thought your hospital was bad, let me share the experience my cousin's wife had when giving birth to their 3rd child.

"This is the email announcing M.'s birth. None of it is made up, it's all true and all our personal experience. Afterwards LV clearly stated if we ever have a 4th, it will not be in England.

"Born in Milton Keynes England on December 1, 1997 at 11:15 am to LVD and JTD, a son, MTD.

"In the fashion of Dave Letterman’s nightly top 10 list we submit the following as a case study of social medicine at its best. This is taken directly from our experience in the new town of Milton Keynes England. Everything that follows is totally true and in our speaking with the native population very normal.

"The Dial's Top 10 reasons you want social medicine...

"10. PERSONAL PILLOW - Staffs concern for personalized comfort extends to specifically recommending you bring your own personal pillow -- or do without.

"9. Use of actual WORLD WAR 2 WHEEL CHAIRS means the dried blood on the foot rests is probably older than you are.

"8. COMMUNAL BATH TUB AND TOILET means no wasted plumbing. It also means no real privacy and possibly waiting in line.

"7. DRIP DRYING - After bathing the staff highly recommends the all-natural drip drying method. Alternatively you can bring your own towel.

"6. NO SIDE RAILS on the bed to interfere with a patient’s desire to fall on the floor while withering in pain during labor. After all who is going to fall out of a single bed while giving birth?

"5. NO WASTED MEDICATION - There were no shots, no pills and no epidural. In an apparent attempt to reduce cost there is no medication for pain even when requested. We made specific requests 1) a couple of weeks ahead of time, 2) on the morning of the birth via phone prior to arriving at the hospital and 3) repeatedly during labor. All are ignored in what we can only view as either a total lack of concern for the patient’s wishes or simple incompetence. One plus is that laughing gas normally used at the Dentist was available. This is of course closely regulated and monitored by the highly trained part time staff consisting of me, JTD.

"4. PERSONAL MEALS - Meals are brought to the communal room where you are expected to get out of bed, bring your child along and get it yourself. LV was less than impressed with the high quality of the prison food along with the portions sized for 9 year olds.

"3. RECYCLED TV SET - In the private post delivery room we requested and paid for, the TV set provided was in reality a vintage 1960's 9" black and white. The tuner was manual like found on a clock radio and the set was incapable of picking up anything at all other than snow.

"2. PAY PHONES - In what can only be viewed as an attempt to save on the patients hard earned money there are no phones in your room. If you want to make a call you can either go down the hall to a common area and stand in line or if the phone is not in use a staff member will wheel it into your room where you can feed it 50p pieces at an alarming rate.

"1. WARDS - In yet another attempt to reduce costs, the maternity wing consists of 4 wards of 6 or 8 beds each. For privacy each bed can be closed off from all others by simply pulling the suspended curtain in a circular fashion providing any new mother and child with all the peace and quite needed.

"Some general comments and observations on the social system and our experiences in the UK...
"During a pre delivery visit with a Dr., he commented that he would not want to practice medicine in the US because he was fearful of being sued. With the level of care they give here he is right. He would be sued. You’re just a number on their charts.

"There is no consistency with the doctors or midwives you see during your pregnancy. You see whoever happens to be working when you have your appointment. The same holds true for the actual birth. Unless there are complications you don’t even see a doctor and the delivery itself is handled by the midwife currently on duty. A few weeks prior to the birth LV specifically requested a particular doctor and was told in no unclear terms he was not going to be available to preside over her delivery. He was booked full. That is unless we were to option out of the NHS and go with private medical care. If we did this the same doctor was available and willing. Here, as everywhere else, money talks.

"We had a pre birth walk through of the maternity ward including the pre and post delivery faculties. On the way out I noticed dust balls rolling down the hall. LV later asked me if I had noticed the woman hobbling to the bathroom, her gown stained with fresh blood. Lucky for me I was busy counting dust balls.

"After the birth when we had had enough and decided to go home. The checkout process was both very simple and very unclear. Their PC was down and no one knew what forms needed to be filled out. It must have taken a good 30 minutes until finally we were cleared to go. Yet at no time did anyone check to make sure the baby we had was really ours or that LV was the mother of the child. Is it any wonder that less than a week later a baby was stolen from a hospital in Basilden to be reunited with her parents a few hours after a mass public appeal for help on both the TV and Radio?

"Enough said. We all survived and are doing fine. And it surely could have been worse.


Wow, what can I say, except God Bless the USA!


Meredith's Mommy said... Reply To This Comment

Holy freakin' cow, man. That is awful! My sister-in-law is British, and she told me once that if you enter the hospitals there, you're likely to come home with something worse than you had going in. Ugh. I would totally have a home birth if I lived in England...

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