"Complete molar pregnancy diagnosis and treatment at QMC"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Gynaecology Royal Derby Hospital / Gynaecology Weston Park Hospital

(as the patient),

I was diagnosed with a complete molar pregnancy last year, and was an inpatient in ward C32 at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham for the D&C procedure. There were complications with the procedure, I had 2 blood transfusions but recovered by 8pm and came home. The care given for this procedure was great, the ladies in recovery were lovely and I was in a side room which was fine, if a little hot! Since then I have been looked after by Sheffield Weston Park Hospital, as the specialist hospital for the north of England for Molar Pregnancies (Gestational Trophoblastic Disorder/Neoplasia). Recovery didn't go as hoped and we made the decision to start methatrexate (Chemotherapy) injections because the molar tissue was re-growing, as sometimes happens, in the same way cancer cells do.

When I went back to C32 for these injections, there was a lack of people who had been on the course necessary to give the injection. Over the coming weeks I realised that there were just 2 staff nurses able to give the injection and one training. Attending C32 every other day, I have experienced various issues with the care overall on the ward, not least being surrounded by happy couples going home with their scan photos, which I of course didn't get, and as I am unable to try again for my first baby until a year has passed from the end of Methatrexate treatment, I wont get for a while.

My main issues are:

There is not enough staff trained in giving this injection. Either train more staff, or don't offer the service. I have since transferred to Derby and have had no problems whatsoever.

Being made to wait for a long time.

I understand that it is an emergency ward, and I am happy to wait. However, I asked for an appointment time, or an estimate of when would be the best time to come in, but with the exception of the first injection, I was never seen within an hour and once I waited over 3 hours. Hospital parking is not cheap.

Lack of basic customer care.

I too work for the NHS and so I have an understanding of the level of service we provide. I did not get this level of service. I have a feeling it is due to staffing issues as everyone was very stressed and rushed, but still, I was ignored by everyone, no one smiled at me or came to say "sorry we have an emergency today, and you might not get seen for 2 hours, would you like to come back later? ".

No one knows what a molar pregnancy is.

I know it is a rare condition, but even on an early pregnancy unit I would have expected the nurses to know what it is. I had to explain it several times to staff nurses and even a locum doctor. I had to explain how it is different from an ectopic pregnancy, why it is treated with methatrexate, how it is just bad luck and not actually my fault and I am pretty upset about the whole thing. I left the ward in tears on at least 5 occasions.

Administering of injection.

The injection is intra muscular and goes in the buttocks alternately. This has always been up to the preference of the nurse at QMC. "I prefer you to lie face down on the bed" or "please lean over this chair and stick your bare bottom out" but never "how would you prefer to do this? " which, incidentally would just be to stand with my trousers loosened a bit. In Derby it is up to me.

I have always felt like an inconvenience

Believe me I wouldn't choose to have this treatment, it has impacted severely on my mental health, suffering the loss of a pregnancy and not being able to try again for so long. There is a lack of empathy and understanding, perhaps due to staffing issues and stress. I felt like I was such an inconvenience to everyone's day, and this in turn hasn't helped with my mental and emotional health.

Finally after a particularly bad experience (waiting from 7. 45am until 9. 45am without anyone speaking to me whatsoever) I was so upset I left in tears again due to the way I had been treated, and called the nurses at Weston Park hospital in Sheffield. I requested to either drive up to Sheffield every other day (about 1. 5 hr journey each way) for the injections, or transfer to Derby Royal, as either of these options would be preferable than having to go into QMC one more time. It's a relief never to have to go in there again as the staff at Derby have been wonderful.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

We are extremely saddened to read your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed account of your experience which sets out a number of areas where we seem to have fallen short and can do better. We would very much welcome the opportunity to speak to you directly to discuss your concerns face-to-face so that we can listen to you, provide answers and importantly describe where we have either already made improvements or have improvements/changes planned which will improve the experience for our patients in the future. If you wish to do so, please contact me directly via email at Benita.Brear@nuh.nhs.uk and we can arrange to meet up at your convenience.

Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were very sorry to learn of your experience and we would like to pass on our good wishes for the future.

Deborah Hopkinson, Patient Experience Co-ordinator