"I have had 2 children at Harrogate ..."

About: Harrogate District Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I have had 2 children at Harrogate Hospital - both long labours resulting in emergency secions. The whole process was made much easier by kind, carig staff both on delivery suite and Pannal ward.

What could be improved

The worst experience I have encountered was when I miscarried in 2006.

I went to the early pregnancy unit with my husband and was kept waiting for a very long time with no explanations or apologies.

I was asked to go down to ultrasound to have a scan, and found it terribly upsetting to be sitting with pregnant women, knowing I was losing my baby.

The early pregnancy Unit had scanning equipment sat around not in use. Perhaps it would be useful to have a person from ultrasound carrying a bleep to attend the unit, rather than women in pain having to walk across the hosptital?

It seems such a waste of resources to have expensive equipment not in use.

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Responses

Response from Harrogate District Hospital

Dear Charlotte

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences at Harrogate District Hospital as all feedback is really important to the trust. I am pleased to hear that on both occasions when you had your babies delivered with us that you found the experience and the staff who cared for you, a positive one.

With regard to your comments relating to the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPAU) and Ultrasound scans, the respective teams wanted to share the following details with you:

Since early 2007 scans on antenatal patients are carried out in antenatal or on Maternity wards so we would expect a woman’s visit to be different now from that experienced by you in 2006. Hopefully a woman would not sit with pregnant ladies in radiology although of course we could not preclude that happening for other reasons. We have made these changes to improve the clinical journey for all women accessing our services.

Unfortunately although the machine looks OK in the Women’s Unit – it is not of a high enough technical specification to use in EPAU (although we do use it in other circumstances) and so we do still ask women to go down to the radiology department. This is something the Children’s, Women’s and Therapy Services Business Unit would like to change, as we recognise it would be better for women not to have to leave the unit, especially if the information they receive as a result of the scan is distressing. Unfortunately as we have already made commitments for our capital funding this year and we know about other important pieces of equipment we must buy next year we would be best looking for charitable funds to help support the purchase of a new ultrasound machine for EPAU. This was something we discussed taking forward at our last CBU board meeting in September.

Hopefully this will reassure you that this is an area of improvement we are aware of and whilst acknowledging the constraints of available funding, we do attempt to do all we can to work together to make the experiences of Women as positive as we can.

The team would also like to thank you for your comments.

Kind regards

Gillian Neild, Head of Communications.

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