"First trip to theatre, Jimmys!"

About: St James's University Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I sadly lost my baby at the end of November and was back and forth from Jimmys (EPU) and ward 16 frequently.

On the 6th December I had the news that theatre was my only option and in fact I'd already prepared for this and fasted myself prior to my appointment.

We arrived early for our scan at the EPU which was at 10: 20am. Unfortunately we were not seen until 11: 10am and this made me terribly frustrated, annoyed and upset. This is my only bad experience. Instead of being told there was an hour wait, we were left climbing the walls. My husband fortunately had a word and the nurse who was on at the time said "what do you want us to do? " in a very abrupt manner. He had some suggestions and kept it his cool.

When I got up to the ward I actually wasn't there too long and the care on ward 16 was absolutely amazing. The nurses were fab and so was the doctor who came and consented me for theatre. My first trip to theatre was also fantastic and all the staff helped me to remain calm. I probably waited on the ward to go to theatre about a couple of hours if that, so I was very happy for this horrible ordeal to be over and done with after nearly 6 weeks.

Overall, my stay at Jimmys was superb, well from the ward to theatre/recovery and back anyway. I couldn't fault them. They were informative, helpful, courteous and friendly and I couldn't have asked for better staff.

The EPU however I found a terrible place to be. Aside from the amazing sonographer and the happy smiley blonde receptionist the other staff seemed to treat you with the least compassion going. It was as if they see women losing babies day in/ day out and treated everyone as that. Its a temporary EPU which was right next to the Antenatal outpatients where you have to walk past the beautiful sound of a foetal heart monitors and glowing pregnant women rubbing their lovely bumps. At any other time that would be lovely, but not when you have just lost your child. It is also shared by other departments too.

It just seems so inappropriate really and needed rethinking.

The nurse who had stated "what do you want us to do about it" was politely informed by my husband that maybe we should be informed about the wait beforehand, maybe even a little note on the noticeboard too, a clock perhaps with the average length of waiting time. At least you would be prepared for the wait then.

She also stated that there were other women in the same situation as us. No woman goes through exactly the same miscarriage. Its a very broad term. You can have a miscarriage there and then or a delayed miscarriage like mine for over 7 weeks. It can also be silent, or incomplete. You cant simply put all miscarrying women in one pot and expect us all to sit there and climb the walls frantically waiting for an answer.

There were also really abrupt notices up stating that if you do not bring a sample of urine with you, you WILL NOT be scanned. Pretty harsh considering that peeing in a pot will be the last thing on your mind if you think you're losing a baby.

Other than that negative experience, the EPU was good in that you can self refer and get things over and done with swiftly so that you can get the closure you need to move on.

The ward I was in was second to none and the theatre and recovery team, amazing!

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Response from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Scrummymummy

Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your baby.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us at what must be a very difficult time for you.

I was extremely sorry to read of the experience you feel you had whilst in our care and I apologise that the care provided at the early pregnancy unit did not meet your expectations.

I have passed your comments on to the Matron of the early pregnancy unit who will look into the points that you have raised. It would be very helpful and beneficial for the care of future patients If you would discuss these issues further with the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

It would also allow us to look into the matters you have raised in further detail and see what lessons we could possibly learn from this.

You can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0113 2067168 or alternatively email patient.relations@leedsth.nhs.uk.

The suggestions yourself and your husband have made will be taken into account.

I am however pleased that the remainder of the time that you spent in our care was a pleasant as possible during this difficult time. I have forwarded your kind comments regarding this onto the departments involved.

With kind regards


Senior Nurse

Patient experience