About Your Notes
Why do I have to carry them round all the time?
Whilst the vast majority of pregnancies proceed without problems, sometimes things crop up that are unexpected and these can occur at the most inconvenient of times. If you have your notes with you, the hospital that you go to will have a very thorough picture of your health which will reduce the amount of information they will need to get from you again.
Occasionally, if you are taken ill suddenly, you may be unable to communicate through illness or stress. In this situation, the hospital will be able to contact your next of kin without delay and reduce the stress on you in the meantime. They will also have access to important information which can affect how you and your baby are treated, enabling you to get the best care, whichever hospital you attend at the time.
What if I lose my notes?
If you lose your notes, then inform the unit that you are booked at immediately. They will arrange for a repeat booking visit to re-issue your notes.
What is in my notes that is so important?
Most hospital hand-held notes are different, but they all contain the same information.
- Demographic Information – Your name, address, contact details, next of kin details
- Medical History – Any serious or ongoing illnesses, allergies and medications that you take
- Obstetric History – This is a brief overview of past pregnancies, births etc.
- Antenatal Visits
- Any Antenatal Admissions
- Your Birth Plan
- Blood Results
- Scan Results
It is important to remember that the notes need to be open and honest from all parties. Doctors and midwives know that you can easily read anything written down in your notes!
What do I do if I am not happy with something that is written in my notes?
It is imperative that you have a good relationship with the team looking after you. If you have any concerns with something that has been written in your notes, then you should approach a member of the team looking after you. Some people find it is easier to approach the person who wrote the comment, others prefer to approach someone else. Either way, if you have a concern then please talk about it. Most of the time it is easy to sort out and may just be a misunderstanding.
Is it necessary to keep all of the scan reports in the notes all the time?
Yes. The scan reports are very important. They are a pain because they are on loose sheets of paper, but all too often the computer system for the scan results is totally separate form the rest of the hospital systems. Also, if you end up in a different hospital, they will not have access to previous scans.
…and blood test results?
These are less important because blood can be taken and tested rapidly and accurately at any hospital. The main ones to keep are the screening test results that you had taken at booking and your blood group.
If you are given something, please keep it with your notes and take them with you everywhere. It’s better to be safe and let the notes get a bit tatty!
If you have any concerns about the care you are receiving, you can ask to speak to a Supervisor of midwives. Supervisors are available to support you and provide professional advice. To contact a Supervisor phone your local maternity ward. You do not have to explain to anyone else why you wish to speak to them and there should always be a Supervisor available.