St Thomas'

Telephone: 020 7188 7188
Address: Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH
Website: http://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk

4 out of 5 stars

Based on 118 ratings for this hospital

4 Stars

4 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 118 ratings for this hospital

Cleanliness

4.5 out of 5 stars

(114 ratings)

Staff co-operation

4 out of 5 stars

(118 ratings)

Dignity and respect

4 out of 5 stars

(116 ratings)

Involvement in decisions

4 out of 5 stars

(113 ratings)

Same-sex accommodation

4.5 out of 5 stars

(82 ratings)

Reviews

226 total | 31 found in Maternity Show all reviews

Elena gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 1 stars

ADU- avoid at all costs

On Monday 2nd March 2015 at 3pm I arrived at ADU as I have had a lot of watery discharge and was worried that my waters have broken or that I was leaking and the risk of infection.
By 1030pm I was still waiting to be seen and every time I asked what my number was in the queue the number was increasing.
I didn't mind waiting at first as there were other women in the corridor who have been there longer than me and clearly in labour as they were trying to walk off their contractions and they still haven't been seen, at least I wasn't in pain. After midwifes heard them moan and groan they would come up to them and ask if they were feeling like pushing, to which these poor women replied that they didn't and the midwifes were saying to them that they would try and find them a bed soon. I honestly could not believe this was possible in this country. I watched a number of midwife shift changed and I was still sitting there waiting to be seen.
After 7.5 hours of leaking water I complained about not being seen to which all I was offered was a sanitary pad, as well as another woman who thought that her waters had broken.
The midwifes were so understaffed and so unable to cope with the large number of women that day that one of then burst out crying and ran out of the ward.
This was like a bad day in Bosnia and by 1030pm I burst out crying myself about worrying that my baby was in danger and this was because there are no beds!
St. Thomas Hospital does not have any plan in place to cope with this increased demand and all I was told was that this is an emergency unit and they see women in terms of their priority which is understandable, however after a number of midwife shifts changed they really didn't have an idea of who was a priority amongst huge pile of orange books stacked in a pile and I had to explain myself again to a midwife who had no clue what i was there for and insist that I was seen after 7.5hr wait as my water might have broken. I have been to an A&E department before but never had to wait for over 7.5hrs! I am now dreading having my baby there as those other poor women who had to labour in the corridor where the temperature is so hot and unbearable! There was no pain relief available and those labouring women were simply neglected due to very limited resources and poor management of the maternity ward. I am nearly 37 weeks pregnant and I will not be back at St. Thomas Hospital as the consultant clearly explained that this is such a busy hospital ad they can not guarantee me the basic level of expected care as well as the bed and any pain relief!

Stay away from this hospital as it can not cope with the demand! There is no point in their wonderful equipment if there are only 6 beds available on the ADU unit... Very sad state of this famous hospital....

Visited in March 2015. Posted on 12 March 2015

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St Thomas' replied on 13 March 2015

The Matron responsible for ADU has read your comments and has given the following response:

‘I can only apologise for your very distressing experience.

ADU is like an emergency service and it can be very difficult for us to predict the number of women who will come to ADU. On a normal day, we assess around 40 women a day. We have a 4 hour acceptable wait and we do investigate and escalate as a risk (communicate to the most senior level for urgent action) each time we breach that waiting time. On that particular day we did breach our waiting time and this has been highlighted as a risk.

On this day, 75 women were seen in ADU between 8am and 8pm and a further 15 during the first part of the night. This day has been for us the busiest ever in ADU. The staff were under huge pressure looking after the unexpected volume of admissions. This was escalated on the day and every senior member of staff was involved in trying to keep the place as safe as possible.

I am very sorry that your only experience of ADU has been on the busiest day ever. We are continuously looking at how to improve the service. Part of the plans are to encourage women to call the phone line before coming as some advice can be given over the phone. For some conditions, the GP or the community midwife could be the first point of contact. Asking women to call before coming could also help us to anticipate the workload. We are in the process of designing a leaflet to explain what ADU is about and what to expect when coming.

We can assure you that the issues that arose on this busiest day are in the process of being investigated.

I hope you will accept our sincere apology.’

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Debbie S gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 5 stars

reassuring, friendly and professional staff

I attended the Early Pregnancy Unit in January because I was concerned about some spotting. I was given a scan. The experience was a very positive one. I was seen fairly quickly and kept informed throughout the whole process. Everyone was professional and friendly, which helped me relax during a stressful situation. The sonographer was also sensitive - I was given a scan photo but advised to keep it out of sight on the way out as not everyone there receives good news. Having a walk-in EPU for emergencies is very reassuring. I would like to thank the staff for their care and professionalism and I would recommend the unit to anyone in a similar position.

Visited in January 2015. Posted on 27 February 2015

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St Thomas' replied on 27 February 2015

I am delighted to learn that you received such compassionate and professional care at the Early Pregnancy and Acute Gynaecology Unit (EPAG). Your kind comments have been shared with the Matron and senior nurses responsible for EAPG who were very appreciative and will in turn share your comments with their team. Thank you for taking then time to tell us about your experience.

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Anonymous gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 1 stars

Poor antenatal unit , poor blood test centre staff

What I liked

I never felt the antenatal unit treated pregnant women with any sense of emergency. My wife been there twice. Not to say the waiting time were extremely long, but the fact was the midwives were quite inexperienced (though they were friendly). We would expect seeing a doctor instead of midwife in the emergency unit. Who bare the responsibility if the midwife overlooked the symptoms?

I saw lots of pregnant women frowned while they were waiting, and wondered why so many midwives sat there chatting or doing paper work instead of actually seeing us. If St thomas treated that as an emergency unit, then each pregnant woman in the unit should be seen by a doctor accompanied by the midwife.

I saw similar comments about the waiting time and the dissatisfaction of the unit. i saw the hospital response but I don't think much has improved. I think the hospital should monitor each patient's waiting time and each session should be done by a doctor and a midwife.

My wife was given an orange maternity record book , which had the doctor's name written on it. But up till now, she still haven't got a chance to see him. I think the doctor (as assigned to each pregnant woman) should meet the pregnant women who are planning to give birth in your hospital (at least once) before delivery to ensure safety and eliminate any risk that might arise at the later stage of pregnancy.

My wife done my blood test at ground floor blood test centre and it's worst of all. First the inexperienced trainee couldn't find her blood vessels, when she found it that was the wrong one so the blood stops coming out after 5 seconds. Then her senior did it again, but this time left her a painful bruise which was larger than a pound coin.

I don't think I would recommend the maternity service at St Thomas.

Visited in January 2015. Posted on 01 March 2015

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St Thomas' replied on 03 March 2015

The Matron for ADU has looked into the issues raised in your comments and provided the following response:

‘I am very sorry to hear that you and your wife had an unhappy experience at the Day Assessment (Antenatal) Unit.

The Day Assessment Unit is an emergency unit. Every woman is assessed by a midwife on arrival to assess the level of her clinical (health) needs.

All midwives recruited in ADU are experienced professionals, who are supported by senior midwifes and a doctor The midwives refer patients to the doctor where necessary, following clear guidelines to accommodate different situations and health conditions.

You noted that midwives sit at the desk to check results and write their notes. This is the only available space to them for this purpose and it allows them to be accessible to the patients they are monitoring. Documentation is an important part of the midwives’ role: It provides evidence of the patient’s health condition and treatment and is a means of communicating with other health professionals who are involved with the patient’s care.

There are a limited numbers of beds in ADU, and some women need a monitoring of the fetal heart for at least 30 minutes before being discharged (leaving the unit). This does increase the time taken to be treated in ADU, but the level of monitoring is necessary to assess fetal wellbeing in some situations. While midwives are sitting at the desk, they are preparing patients for treatment or preparing them to leave the unit safely. There are protocols in place to deal with major emergencies, in which all necessary staff would stop what they were doing to attend to the woman in need.

ADU can see up to 80 women a day with only 4 midwives and a limited amount of space. The environment is similar to that of an A&E department, in that the service cannot predict the number of people who will need to be seen each day. All non-urgent issues should be dealt with within the community by the community midwife or the GP.

The name on the orange note is the link consultant. Not all pregnant women would meet the consultant, where there is no history of problems or when no complications develop. If your wife has not been referred to her link consultant, that is because her midwifery team (community midwives) have not identified any complications. However, your wife can discuss this with her team and make an appointment with her link consultant for review if she believes there is a need.

I hope that this response helps you and your wife to understand the workings of the ADU. Please do ask to speak to one of the senior midwives next time if you need more explanation or assistance.’

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Anonymous gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 4 stars

Excellent staff but care could be more consistent in labour

I was induced on 16/12/2014 being two weeks overdue in home from home. So many women were giving birth that day that I was kicked out of the room where I was having a bath whilst having contractions as a women needed suturing after giving birth.

I was then transferred to another room where a woman was waiting to be induced. My original plan was to have an epidural but there was no room available in the birth centre. It is not until I was dilated at 08 cm that I finally arrived at the birth centre so I ended up using gas and air only.

Between 03 and 08 cm I was left pretty much on my own with my partner, I was given paracetamol and different midwives were popping in time to time to see how I was getting on. They finally checked on me when they saw how distressed I was. I felt the care and support could have been better at that stage.

Saying that, once I was properly looked after in the birth centre, the care and support were excellent. A senior midwife was called in when I had difficulties pushing and they were a god send. As I was pushing for 5 hours and my daughter's heartbeat was slowing down, they had to do an episiotomy which has healed very well. My baby and myself were in very good hands and the staff was experienced. I was treated with dignity and respect and the midwives were professional.

I can't praise enough the postnatal care, the staff was so lovely and supportive. They attended all of our needs and explained everything. The support for breastfeeding was good. I wish I had that red button to call the midwife when I was at home with my baby. I was sharing the room with 2 other women, which all in all is not that bad.

I agree with other people's comments when they say the waiting time is long for antenal care and labour and that it can get very crowded. I think the staff there is well trained and does an excellent job considering how busy they are. I do recommend this hospital but if you are looking for prompt attention and one to one full time care, then you should go private.

Visited in December 2014. Posted on 25 March 2015

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L vera gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 5 stars

A very merry Christmas

I gave birth to my baby girl om Wednesday 24.12.2014 @ 9.20am, after which to me felt like weeks in labour!!
I was 1 week 5 days over due with my first baby so everything was new to me I could go on on about my painfull contractions that started 5 days before hand but no need.
To cut a very long story short I just wanted to say a massive thank you to every midwife I encountered. They helped me all through my birthing experience.
As a first time mother I was very nervous, unsure and in a lot of pain but most of the staff i encountered were very reassuring!
Me and baby girl recieved a very full Christmas stocking and a present to unwrap the morning of Christmas. Thank you.

Visited in December 2014. Posted on 27 December 2014

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St Thomas' replied on 09 January 2015

I am glad to learn that, despite your difficult labour, your experience at St Thomas’ was positive overall. The Midwifery team were very happy to receive your feedback and really appreciate the time you have taken to share it.

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Tsitsi gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 5 stars

Excellent maternity services

I supported my 20 year old daughter during birth of my grandchild on the night of the 14th of November 2014. I have to say a big thank you to the team that was on duty in home from home and later the labour corridor in particular the midwife and an anaesthetist who was called in from another area to give my daughter an epidural.
My daughter was very distressed and we were both panicky but the team there were reassuring , kind, professional, involved us in decisions and most important for us , listened when my daughter said she could not cope with the pain and requested an epidural. I work in the NHS myself and have heard horrifying stories during childbirth when women are refused pain medication and told they should be able to cope with the pain.
For us this compassion stood out and we felt safe and very luck to have the NHS and in particular to be looked after at St Thomas'. Thank you St Thomas 7 North maternity team..

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 15 November 2014

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Anonymous gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 5 stars

Thank you to Midwife in ANC on 25/11/2014

Thank you so much. I was so anxious about my booking appointment and you made me so comfortable and relaxed. I would recommend you to everyone! Thanks for taking the time to listen to and understand without being judgemental. Many thanks again. A great service.

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 27 November 2014

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St Thomas' replied on 03 December 2014

It is great hear that you received such compassionate care in the Maternity department. This is the experience we hope all our patients have, so the staff were very encouraged to read your comments. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

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Anonymous gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 1 stars

Early Pregnancy Unit

Visited twice - first in mid November with heavy bleeding. Consultant was more concerned with the viability of the fetus and not the reasons why I was bleeding or how I was feeling.

Visited a second time for a follow up appointment in early December. Was treated as though I had a communicable disease due to recently returning from Sierra Leone (without any symptoms). Made to sit in a separate room without explanation. Everyone at the clinic knew where I had traveled even though I had not consented to anyone sharing that information. Forced to see a virologist following diagnosis of a miscarriage and before I could see a gynecologist who could discuss my treatment and care. Not offered any counsel ling or support to deal with the grief of recurrent miscarriages or anything above rescheduling me for a scan to ensure all 'products of pregnancy' were removed.

Really disappointing experience at a rather stressful time. Did not feel respected or listened to and that confidential information was shared without my consent.

To be clear, I was not at risk of having Ebola and was not having any symptoms and was at the hospital for a scheduled pregnancy appointment.

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 02 December 2014

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St Thomas' replied on 11 December 2014

We are sorry that you had such a distressing experience the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecology Unit (EPAGU). From the information you have provided, we think we are able to identify you and the occasion you visited EPAGU.

Due to the seriousness of the Ebola infection, our Trust protocol requires us to ask screening questions to all patients attending clinic appointments or ward admissions. This ensures that every memeber of staff and patient can take appropriate precautions if any patient has symptoms that could cause risk to others. We hope this explains why the following questions are being asked in many countries during this distressing Ebola virus outbreak:

"Have you visited one of the outbreak countries ( Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) or been in contact with a possible case within 21 days?

Elective/non - urgent admissions will be postponed 21 days if a patient has visited an outbreak country. A virologist would be contacted if admission or appointment is urgent. "

If you would like to be contacted by the EPAGU Manager or Matron to discuss this matter further, please telephone PALS (patient advice and liaison service) on 020 7188 8801 or 020 7188 8803. Alternatively you could email pals@gstt.nhs.uk. PALS aim to respond to all voicemail messages and emails within 24 hours.

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Anonymous gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 5 stars

Early pregnancy unit

I visited the early pregnancy unit today as I was experiencing bleeding and cramps. I was seen quickly by the nurse and doctor and both were really caring. I felt really looked after.

I am so grateful for the NHS! You provide a wonderful service.

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 03 November 2014

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St Thomas' replied on 07 November 2014

I was very glad to hear that you experience of the Early Pregnancy Unit was so positive. Thank you for giving your feedback – it means a lot to the team in EPU, who were very pleased to read your comments.

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Anna gave Maternity services at St Thomas' a rating of 1 stars

Don't go if you want someone to take care of you during preg

I'm very disappointed! I'm having my second child at St Thomas (I'm still wondering why)
I am having few issues during my pregnancy. I called three weeks ago my midwife on call, no replay no call back. then I call the hospital. they said to go straight in the antenatal day unit as I was having cramps as it is urgent matter. I been told that I need to wait two hours, in the meanwhile cramps were very strong. after two hours there were still four people in front on me. As I have a daughter, I needed to leave and collect her from nursery without been seeing!!
Midwives just told me that it's up to me to leave and they are too busy and short in stuff. and that's happen all the time you go to the antenatal day unit!

Visited in October 2014. Posted on 22 October 2014

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St Thomas' replied on 03 November 2014

I am very sorry to learn of your distressing experience. It would seem that, in addition to the delays that you experienced, your visit to the Antenatal Day Unit was made even more difficult by a lack of communication about the service. The service management team responsible for the ADU have provided the following explanation, which may be helpful in preparation for future visits:

‘ADU is like a casualty for pregnant women. As in other A&E services, the expected waiting time could be up to 4 hours. There is a triage system in place, and some ladies with acute conditions may be seen earlier than others with milder symptoms. But every patient is seen with the same care and attention. We try to advise women to be seen by the community midwife when possible for all the routine care and non-urgent matters. We also tend to warn women coming to ADU that there could be a waiting time to be seen by a midwife. On occasion there could be more waiting time to be seen by a doctor.’

The service management team apologise for the fact that you did not receive a response from your community/on-call midwife. In the absence of a quick response from your community midwife, you did the right thing by coming to the ADU.

The service management team are reviewing performance across all of the areas you have mentioned in your feedback and will continue to strive for improvements in the community midwifery service and in the ADU.

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