"Two very different experiences of miscarriages at two hospitals within the same trust"

About: Good Hope Hospital / Maternity care Heartlands Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I have had 2 miscarriages in 6 months - in each I dealt with 2 different hospitals but the hospitals were in the same trust. The experiences were polar opposites.

Heartlands was the first hospital - In Dec 2013, I went to A+E with bleeding, they did a pregnancy test and I was told they couldn't scan me until 6 days later and that I should go home and take it easy. The nurse dealing with me was matter of fact and if I hadn't persisted, I wouldn't have been booked in for a scan.

I then miscarried during that time - a horrendous and frightening experience. I had no idea that this is what a miscarriage was - I thought it would just be a heavy period.

I went in to Heartlands for the scan already booked so I could see if everything had gone. The woman called me for the scan - when I say called for me, she didn't bother to open the waiting room door fully, my name was said behind the door so I could hardly hear her. No eye contact, no greeting and then she disappeared so we literally had to look for which room she'd gone into.

In the room - no greeting, points to the bed. "is this your first pregnancy? ". For some reason, after everything I'd been through just the couple of days before, this question really made me angry. 1. if she'd bothered to read my notes before she brought me in, she would see that this wasn't my first pregnancy (I have 2 daughters) and 2. my notes would have shown due to my A+E visit the week before that there was a chance that this wasn't a pregnancy any more. It was in my notes, as I asked her to look at them and she confirmed.

The scan showed that I'd passed everything. Then I was sent back to communal waiting area - I didn't know what I was waiting for or why so I went to find someone to ask after about 30 minutes as I just wanted to go home. The notices on the walls said that waiting times could be up to 4 hours and I just wanted to be out of there.

There were two people on reception, one was texting and the other on a personal call (on a mobile). Finally, I found a midwife who told me I had to see her as part of my after care and that there were urgent cases at the moment so I'd have to wait. Again, no care, compassion in her response - in fact, I just felt unimportant.

Eventually, I got in to see the midwife. First question "is this your first pregnancy? " - I couldn't believe it! At this point, I was quite upset and fed directly back to the midwife that this experience had not added anything to my treatment/care and I wished I never come in. I felt I could deal with it better myself. She said that sonographer was someone who didn't normally work in their ward.

She did a pregnancy test - as in her words, they had nothing themselves to show that I was pregnant. How could this be? I had had my blood tests as part of registering with the midwife. I had had a pregnancy test in A+E the week before. So now, they were even questioning the fact that I was pregnant!

When I thought there were issues with my next pregnancy in April/ May 2014, I asked to be referred to Good Hope as I didn't want to go back to Heartlands. I have to say - my experience was absolutely opposite. The staff there couldn't do enough, they were so caring and lovely. They gave me all the information I needed and when I was confirmed as miscarrying I was put in a separate private room to wait for the senior nurse. I can't speak highly enough of how professional and thorough they were.

I know the NHS is stretched but it isn't really the lack of resources which gave me the good/ bad experience, it was the way the process was delivered - the basic care, compassion, understanding and professionalism (and even manners) were the elements which made each experience what it was.

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Responses

Response from Richard Parker, Managing Director, Good Hope Hospital, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Richard Parker

Dear Dottydadoo

I'm sorry to read of both your recent miscarriage & past experience at our Heartlands site. I have forwarded your comments to my colleagues at Heartlands. Specifically for them to raise your contrasting experiences with the team there and to see what lessons can be learnt.

I am glad to read things worked well here at Good Hope & I would like to thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback at what must be a difficult time.

I do hope you are recovering well but if there is anything else we can do please don't hesitate to make contact.

Regards

Richard

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Response from Iona Belgrove, Patient Services Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dottydadoo

I have been asked by Tracey Nash, Matron for Gynaecology, if you could please contact her via email at tracey.nash.heartofengland.nhs.uk or myself at iona.belgrove@heartofengland.nhs.uk.

This is so we can start to look into your case, we will need your full name and hospital number.

Best wishes

Iona

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Response from Heartlands Hospital

Dear Madam, I am truly sorry to read your posting; however I am very grateful to you for taking the time do so, as I appppreciate that it must have been very difficult for you to write under the circumstances. All feedback, whether it is negative or positive is used by our Patient Experience Team to identify themes and trends across the organisation to highlight areas of improvement. Although your experience dates back to December 2013, your comments have been forwarded to the Patient Experience Team in the event that lessons can be learnt. I am glad to read that your experience at our Good Hope Hospital was a more positive one under the circumstances in which were attending. Once again, may I take this opportunity of thanking you for taking the time to post your experiences at our Trust. Best Wishes for the future Patient Services Team.

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