"Miscarriage care"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

1. When, at eight weeks pregnant in June 2013, I started bleeding it was more than 24 hours before I could have a scan to determine what was happening because the Early Pregnancy Assesment Unit (EPAU) is only open part-time.

Mumsnet’s Code of Care is calling for better access to scanning facilities including EPAU’s open seven days a week.

2. I was forced to walk past the bright, airy waiting room where heavily pregnant women awaiting the safe arrival of their babies were waiting for scans to get to the EPAU – a drab, tiny, windowless, stuffy room with insufficient seating.

Mumsnet’s Code of Care is calling for safe and appropriate places for treatment separated from women having routine ante-natal and post-natal care.

3. By the time I finally had my appointment at the EPAU I was certain I had miscarried. When I told the nurse prior to the scan I had passed what appeared to be the baby and pregnancy sac in the bath the night before, she told me: “It’s best like that. ”

Mumsnet’s Code of Care is calling for EPAU staff to be trained in communication and listening skills, including things NOT to say to women who are miscarrying.

4. On my second trip to the EPAU just three months later in September 2013 and with my second pregnancy of the year lost despite an early scan revealing a healthy heart beat, I was asked by the nurse how many people had been present in the room at the latest scan. When I asked why she needed to know this, she told me there must be two sonographers present to confirm the baby had died and if there was only one I needed another scan. There had been two sonographers but I was speechless: how could there be any doubt?

Mumsnet’s Code of Care is calling for EPAU staff to be trained in communication and listening skills, including things NOT to say to women who are miscarrying.

5. On both occasions I was left to cancel previously booked midwife appointments at my local GP surgery.

Mumsnet’s Code of Care is calling for joined-up care in which community midwife teams and GPS are informed immediately when miscarriage has occurred to avoid women who have miscarried being chased for ‘missing’ pregnancy appointments.

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Responses

Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Thank you for your comments, I am very sorry we did not acknowledge your message at the time.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact our Patient Advice & liaison Service (PALS) at pals@bush.nhs.uk or on 01273 664973.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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