Complaint upheld after mum’s birth ordeal

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HEALTH chiefs have been ordered to apologise to a mother who endured “unacceptable” care standards while giving birth in the Lothians.

The woman, who was sent to give birth at St John’s Hospital in Livingston after earlier arriving at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, was left to lie in blood-stained sheets and refused pain medication during a three-day ordeal.

Poor communication and issues around medication to prevent blood clots were also uncovered.

An expert adviser to the Scottish Government ombudsman found “midwives omitting basic hygiene, basic observations and vital signs recording fell well below acceptable standards of care”.

The woman gave birth to a son at the hospital in November 2011. She initially complained to NHS Lothian, but after receiving what she saw as an inadequate response took her case to the ombudsman who yesterday upheld the complaint and made four recommendations to NHS Lothian.

Dr David Farquharson, NHS Lothian’s medical director, said: “We have sent a written apology directly and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly repeat that apology.

“We accept the ombudsman’s recommendations in full and are implementing the recommended actions highlighted in the report.”