Sheffield mums share their stories of Jessop Wing treatment after ‘Inadequate’ CQC rating

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Since The Star reported on the downgrading of Jessop Wing from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’ following a CQC report which raised concerns about safety, a number of mums in the city have got in touch and shared their stories.

The Jessop Wing was criticised by the CQC which was tipped off by employees at the hospital and carried out an unannounced investigation whcih began in March.

The investigation found that, while the staff were no doubt committed and caring, there were a number of issues that required ‘urgent action’.

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Teresa Faulkner praised the work of the staff at Jessop Wing. Pictured here with her children Harry (2) and Bobby (3 months), both born at Jessop Wing.Teresa Faulkner praised the work of the staff at Jessop Wing. Pictured here with her children Harry (2) and Bobby (3 months), both born at Jessop Wing.
Teresa Faulkner praised the work of the staff at Jessop Wing. Pictured here with her children Harry (2) and Bobby (3 months), both born at Jessop Wing.

These included but were not limited to: a lack of effective systems to ensure staff could safely care for women and their babies; failure to investigate a number of deaths as serious incidents; lack of equipment checks and drills; and a shortage of midwives.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that they had already started to address some of the issues highlighted.

Women in Sheffield gave a mixed response to the CQC’s findings, with some agreeing with the critical review while others got in touch to praise the care they received there.

The Jessop Wing in Sheffield.The Jessop Wing in Sheffield.
The Jessop Wing in Sheffield.

Teresa Faulkner, who has had two children at Jessop Wing, said: “I was really sad to hear Jessop’s has been downgraded.

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"In my opinion, they are absolutely incredible and my experiences of having two children there were outstanding in every aspect.

"They were unbelievable in their efforts to go above and beyond for me and my boys. I couldn’t fault a single aspect.

"I didn’t have easy births - I was induced and required blood transfusions with my first, I had two antenatal stays for bleeding and a planned section that ended with a general anaesthetic and NICU stay for my second.

"I genuinely believe that every single member of staff at Jessop's, from receptionists to midwives and consultants were truly incredible in their care for me and my sons.

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"I was always encouraged to ask for support to ask questions at every single stage of my pregnancy and after their births.

"I'm sure there were times when they were rushed off their feet and when they were under a lot of pressure but that never showed in their care for me - they were truly some of the most exceptional people I've ever met. I cannot thank them enough for every thing they did for me.

"They made me feel safe, respected and so cared for. I am in shock that they have received this downgrading. They’re my heroes.”

However, Abbie Jones, who gave birth to her son in September last year, had an altogether different experience.

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She said: “Throughout my entire pregnancy I felt alone the community midwives were not helpful in the slightest and Jessop’s didn’t seem to care either.

"Due to Covid I understand that everyone is busy and under a lot of pressure but that doesn’t excuse the fact I was a first time mum and had no clue what was happening.

"In September when I was due to be induced I spent four days in hospital the induction failed. The consultant at 36 weeks told me I needed to be induced and go no later than my due date.

"The consultant who saw me in Jessop’s when I was 40+3 told me there was no urgency in getting the baby out and was sending me home until a bed on the labour ward was free.

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"I told her and the nurses something wasn’t right and I was not going home. I am glad I did as they monitored the baby a couple hours later and his heart rate spiked and I became really sick.

"They had to break my waters and take me down to the labour ward as they had caused an infection which spread to baby from the induction. The midwife who they handed me over to was amazing but that is when it went down hill.

"They didn’t have enough staff to give me a c-section so tried the hormone drip after 18 intense painful hours, 13 of which waiting for an anaesthetist I finally got someone to attempt an epidural but even that failed 11 times.

"I begged for an emergency section as my body could no longer cope but there was no one available to do one so after 18 hours of begging someone became available.

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"I had spinal block and finally got the baby out. After all the trauma I was very sick, my body couldn’t take any more and I needed sleep.

"Due to Covid restrictions my partner was not allowed up to the ward with me and I had to do it alone he saw his son for 40 minutes after birth and that was it until the next day.

"I got promised help on the ward after birth so I could recover but when I got up there I was all alone. I had no help from anyone I could not move due to spinal block and had no sleep and was sick due to the infection.

"I spent a total of 10 days in hospital in a room alone. I had quite a few breakdowns and felt so alone the midwifes were very abrupt and when I got told I could leave they said I might get out in the afternoon instead of making me a priority as they know full well how upset I had been they took their time.

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"I am wanting more children in the future but am so hesitant about having to go through such an ordeal with Jessop’s especially when after all of this my complaints were never responded to it doesn’t give me much hope for the future.”

Responding to the CQC report, Professor Chris Morley, Chief Nurse, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Whilst there is a focus quite rightly on what we need to improve I am also pleased that the inspectors found several areas of good practice and most importantly they recognised that Jessop Wing colleagues were focused on the needs of the women receiving care.

"The teams in the Jessop Wing are responding to this report with the commitment and professionalism we see every day and are completely focussed on continuing to deliver safe, good care to women and their babies.

"If any women or their partners have concerns following this inspection, then please do not hesitate to contact us and the team will be happy to provide assurance.”