"Maternity Services & Miscarriage"

About: St Mary's Hospital

(as the patient),

I recently suffered a miscarriage. Couldn't fault the service provided by the Early Pregnancy Unit at the time. I was asked to take a pregnancy test two weeks later and phone to let them know the result.

We asked if we needed to cancel the community midwife appointments, but were assured they would deal with everything and we would not hear from them again.

That was 5 weeks ago, we were just coming to terms with things and moving on with the future, then a voicemail is left from the community midwife team asking me to phone them, so I do and have to explain I had a miscarriage and would no longer need the appointment. This was upsetting and completely unacceptable as it opened up wounds that were starting to heal.

The next day I have another phone all from a different community midwife who asked if she could move our appointment forward. I had to again explain I would not need an appointment. This time I was not upset, but angry. How can simple communication of something so sensitive be so difficult?

I'm not usually one to make a fuss, but twice in two days having a phone call and me having to tell a health professional something they should already have been informed of, is not acceptable.

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Responses

Response from Vanessa Flower, Patient Experience Lead, Isle of Wight NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Vanessa Flower

Dear Banjo

I was really saddened to read your story, and I appreciate you taking the time to post this feedback at what must be a very difficult and upsetting time for you.

I have shared your comments with senior staff in the maternity service who would like to extend their sincere apologies for the distress caused due to the breakdown in communication which should not have happened. Your feedback will also be shared at the community midwives meeting.

In order to improve communication the team are going to ensure that initially the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit and sonography staff immediately write the patient details in the community midwives message book.

As a permanent measure we will develop a more robust process to ensure that communication is improved. The service are recruiting a postnatal coordinator post and once recruited to, this will ensure that one person can obtain any information and pass it onto the relevant community midwife.

Once again our apologies for the distress caused, and if you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact us directly on 01983 534850 and we can arrange for you to meet with the maternity staff.

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Update posted by Banjo (the patient)

I'm pleased my story has made a difference and will make changes so the same doesn't happen to anyone else in my situation. Thank you for your feedback.

I would like to add that I was treated impeccably, by all staff concerned at the time, and it was unfortunate that the break down in communication let the whole system down.

Response from Vanessa Flower, Patient Experience Lead, Isle of Wight NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Vanessa Flower

Dear Banjo

I will ensure that your further comments are passed on to the team, and we will ensure that we communicate the changes made via this site as they are implemented.

Thank you once again for giving us this valuable feedback that will enable us to improve systems for other women who may need to use the service. May I take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the future.

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Response from Vanessa Flower, Patient Experience Lead, Isle of Wight NHS Trust We have made a change

picture of Vanessa Flower

Dear Banjo

I wanted to update you further on our planned changes - the new paperwork has been devised and is used with the clinic setting and covers a range of information which includes when women have miscarried. This information will be passed on to the community midwives to avoid a break down in any future communication.

The co-ordinator post will officially commence on 1st June which will further strengthen this process.

Once again I am sorry for the distress that you suffered, but I hope that this provides you with the assurance that we have made changes to improve the systems for the women who use our services in future.

Kind regards

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Update posted by Banjo (the patient)

Dear Vanessa,

Thank you for the update, it is appreciated and nice to know changes have been made.

I just wanted to update you myself. Today I visited my GP who although had received information regarding my referral from A&E to EPAU, they had not been informed of the outcome from EPAU. So when I was seen today they weren't sure whether I would be pregnant or not.

Are you therefore able to confirm that GPs will be kept informed too, which I would have thought they should be as a matter of course anyway!?

Response from Vanessa Flower, Patient Experience Lead, Isle of Wight NHS Trust

picture of Vanessa Flower

Dear Banjo

I am sorry that your GP had not been advised of miscarriage. The service does send a copy of any scan reports and discharge letters to the GP's and I am sorry on this occasion the post failed to reach them.

I have raised this with our Lead Nurse for EPAU, and she is going to look at how we can ensure that these are sent electronically in future to avoid mail not reaching the GP's in future.

Once again thank you for taking the time to advise of this, as it allows us to ensure we improve our services in the future.

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Update posted by Banjo (the patient)

Dear Vanessa,

Are you saying that my results could potentially have been lost in the post?