A SHEFFIELD mother this week described her astonishment at being asked to bring her own pillows during her stay in the Jessop Wing maternity hospital.
Jennifer Dunstan-Furniss, aged 31, has nothing but praise for the staff who helped her through a difficult birth to safely deliver her second child, Rio, but she was appalled the hospital was lacking such basic supplies.
Managers have apologised. They say they try to ensure an adequate supply of pillows, but “significant numbers” are going missing.
Jennifer, of Eastern Crescent, Arbour-thorne, said: “I had everything on my checklist when I was admitted to the Jessop Wing. But once I got there I was surprised the staff were advising patients to get family members to bring in pillows because they had run out.
“Visitors were coming in bringing bunches of flowers, baskets of fruit – and pillows!”
Until her parents brought in a pillow from home, Jennifer says she was on a bed with only an unfilled pillow case.
“The nurses and midwives said it was a long-standing problem and they didn’t know when there was going to be a new delivery. It’s like serving up your dinner and not giving you a knife and fork.
“When you are feeding, especially if you have been ill, you need a pillow to support the baby.”
Jennifer added: “I can’t fault the care I received in any way at all. I had a difficult birth and I received the best of care and I and my baby are perfectly healthy.
“But the fact that people are having to bring in their own equipment from home is really quite surprising. I thought that if nobody spoke out the problem would never get solved.”
Another young family said they were asked to bring their own pillows to ante-natal classes at the Jessop Wing, as long ago as March.
They were told before two separate visits to bring their own pillows, although on both occasions when they arrived at the hospital there were sufficient supplies.
Hilary Chapman, chief operating officer and chief nurse at the hospital, said: “We always try to ensure there is a small of surplus of pillows so there is enough for everyone. However unfortunately we are constantly having to deal with the fact that significant numbers of pillows go missing between patients, albeit this may be unintentional.
“We carefully monitor stocks to try and ensure that the situation does not result in patients not having an adequate number of pillows.
“We apologise to Jennifer if this was not her experience and will try to ensure we do everything we can to limit the chances of it happening again.”