"Miscarriage care at Kings"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill) / Accident and emergency King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill) / Maternity

(as the patient),

I went for a standard 12 week scan at Kings and found out that I had a missed miscarriage. The Harris Birthright staff were great. They gave me time and were very understanding. They fast tracked me through the Early Pregnancy Unit which is where everything started to go downhill. Although I had been fast tracked I still waited for half an hour, surrounded by posters about miscarriage, people with their children and pregnant women. I was clearly distressed and there was nowhere for my partner to sit. He was distressed too and had to go out into the corridor for some privacy.

The staff I met were very matter of fact and seemingly showed no compassion. They informed me I would have to come back in a week to check the diagnosis was correct. They said I could make an appointment. I waited at the reception desk and was ignored.

I was told to return if I experienced heavy bleeding and/or pain.

Two days later I phoned EPU to make an appointment and was told I could not and was not even on the system.

Two days after the diagnosis I started to bleed heavily. I was in severe pain and, as it was late, went straight to A&E, as directed to do in the pregnancy notes.

I arrived at A&E at 9. 30pm. I told the receptionist I was having a miscarriage. I was doubled over in pain. The triage nurse did not even look at me. She had an air of nonchalance. I gave her all my paperwork. I was not offered pain killers or any privacy.

I sat in A&E for over 3 hours, bleeding heavily. Fortunately, my partner works at Kings and was able to get me a wheelchair. I bled through my clothes and became more and more distressed. This all happened in a waiting room full of people. Finally, my partner had to complain to one of the nurses. Once they realised the state I was in, they found a room for me and I was able to change.

Once there, the A&E staff were great and I was seen to quite quickly. At 4. 30 AM I was discharged and, as there are no scanning machines in A&E I was told to return to EPU in the morning. I was informed that an appointment had been made so I would not have to wait too long.

After only 3 hours sleep I returned to EPU at 9.00. I was told to take a number and wait. I had gone by myself as my partner was exhausted and I believed it would be a short visit. I waited 3 hours. I was still bleeding heavily and very uncomfortable. I was surrounded by pregnant women, although not obviously pregnant. I was finally seen by a wonderful doctor but was extremely distressed by having to wait so long again, having experienced this trauma and having had hardly any sleep.

Miscarriage is an extremely traumatic experience to both women and their partners. The hospital staff I met did nothing to ensure our privacy and in my opinion they did not inform us properly.

Kings is a leading hospital, yet in my experience the care they offer to people suffering from miscarriage, infertility and still birth is still not good enough.

Scanners are needed in A&E and a special place for women experiencing this loss is needed away from other pregnancy care.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Updates, changes and questions related to this story