About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

The epu is rubbish, can never get through to talk to anybody!! I have called 15 times so far this morning and not one person has answered the phone. My last visit to epu I was seated in the waiting area where they where all chatting and leaving the phone to ring!! I even recorded them talking about the up coming weekend while the phones where non stop ringing. The women they are ignoring have previously lost babies or are so scared out of their mind they have no choice but to ring epu. We don't want to ring you just as much as you can't be bothered with us! But sometimes we can't help it. So angry with epu. This was also the same back when I had a mc last year! It's discusting

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Anonymous, I was so sorry to read about your experiences. I have escalated your concerns to the Head of Nursing for Women's Services who would be keen to discuss what happened in person. It is clearly not acceptable for you to call so many times and not have your phone call picked up. With regard to staff speaking while a phone was ringing, the challenge we have is that the reception area window you referred to must be left open so staff can easily see the number of people waiting and arriving. However, during that period the phone cannot be answered as this would breach confidentiality for all women with that window open. We are actively working on fixing this and getting a solution which allows both jobs to be done by the staff member receiving women into the service. In future, you may wish to call the Maternity Helpline if you cannot make contact with EPU immediately and they will be able to advise you, this number is 01279 827286, available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Staff have been advised that this has been your experience and they were sincerely sorry. I hope you feel able to make contact and enable us to respond more fully. Please do contact the Patient Experience Team on 01279 82 70 84, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm so we can advise you on how to take this further.

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