"Standard of care in hospital maternity unit"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Maternity unit

(as the patient),

had an early scan when I was around 4 weeks pregnant due to having an operation the week before.

Found an empty gestational sac which was measured - when I was told the measurement I told the woman I couldn't possibly be that far on but was told that ultrasounds are very accurate.

Referred back a few days later and again an empty sac was found but measuring smaller than before which seemed more accurate and was also showing that I had an area of haemorrhage. Was told that the pregnancy wasn't continuing and unfortunately had a miscarriage. Went into the room to speak to midwife who told me my only option was to be booked in for some sort of tablet to clear everything out. Asked if I could have time to think about it and this was agreed.

Returned home and done a lot of researching on the Internet and found out that it's too early to diagnose a miscarriage at such an early stage so I called and asked if I could have another scan to be sure I had miscarried before making the decision and actually had to beg the midwife before the midwife finally agreed to it.

A few days later I returned to the hospital and spoke to the midwife before going in for scan and asked if there was any chance that they could be mistaken and that it was just too early to see anything and was told no, that the ultrasound technicians are highly trained and don't make mistakes like that. Well wasn't I surprised when within seconds of scanning me the woman picked up on a yolk sac and little heartbeat flickering away!

Returned to talk to the midwife and the midwife was rather shocked too. Was offered no apology and when I mentioned that I was angry that I could of taken those tablets after the second scan and unknowingly terminated a healthy pregnancy, I was greeted by the midwife shrugging her shoulders. Disgusting.

Well anyway I am grateful that I have a healthy pregnancy and decided not to press any further about the mistakes made. Was advised by the midwife to call the booking line to make my first proper appointment so I called earlier this month- still within the opening times but was greeted with an answering machine, left my details and expected a call back within 4 hours as stated- no reply back. I was busy the next day and missed the opening hours so couldn't call and had no call from them. I called again greeted by answer machine- left details again and expected a call back this time but no call back again! Called and it again later that day and was greeted by an answer machine again but didn't leave a message this time.

Have grave concerns about the standard of care at this hospital and I really don't want to have my baby here as I don't know what else will go wrong.

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Response from Gail Bell, Deputy Head of Midwifery, Women and Children, NHS Forth Valley

Thank you for your posting. I believe we may have already been in contact via e-mail and by phone. I want to say again how sorry I am to hear of this experience. You will appreciate that I can’t go into detail on the website but we agreed that I would look into some of the things you mentioned and that I’d get back to you personally. We could discuss, at that point, if it would feel right to put an update on Patient Opinion with information which might be helpful.

Glad to hear your pregnancy is going well.

I will be back in touch soon.

Best wishes.


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