"Maternity concerns at Whiston"

About: Whiston Hospital / Accident and emergency Whiston Hospital / Maternity care

(as a relative),

I was overjoyed not long ago when I found out my sister was pregnant with her second child.

At 6 weeks she started bleeding. A trip to Whiston A&E on Thursday evening was when it all started. She was seen that night, then asked to go back in the morning for an internal scan within the maternity department. She left A&E terrified, had been given no information or advice on what to do if it got worse. She had no idea what to expect and staff seemed to show a lack of compassion towards her.

The next morning she and her husband went for the internal scan. However, it was too early to detect a heartbeat and she was told to go back in 10 days to find out whether she was miscarrying or not.

Again, no advice or information was given to her. She simply had the scan, was told to go back in 10 days, and left in the room after a member of staff told her "there are tissues and sanitary towels in the corner, clean yourself up and off you go".

A week later, my sister passed the embryo. I went with her this time for the internal scan, where it was confirmed that the pregnancy had been passed.

I'm disgusted at how my sister and her husband were treated on their visit to A&E and their first visit for the internal scan. Maybe staff are used to seeing people on a regular basis who are miscarrying, but they shouldn't forget that each woman they see are not used to it. A bit of information on what to expect, what could be wrong, and other possibilities would have been very useful. No, it wouldn't have prevented the miscarriage, but it would have eased the stress she went through with lack of knowledge. Also a bit of compassion, care and empathy would have also made her feel that the people who were supposed to be looking after her actually did care. Instead, she was treated like "another miscarriage case", not as an individual.

It's not just my sister who has had a bad experience within maternity. A friend of mine was recently told by her community midwife to drop in at the hospital for some reason. She was "greeted" by a woman who told her she should not be there and the midwife had given her the wrong details. At 8 months pregnant stresses like this should be avoided.

Around the same time my sister miscarried, a friend of hers also miscarried. Unlike my sister, her friend needed a D&C. She was told on the Friday she needed a D&C and had to WAIT until MONDAY to have the procedure done. Can you imagine having to get through the weekend knowing you have a dead baby inside you? How can this be happening?

It seems that whenever Whiston and Maternity are mentioned in the same sentence almost every woman will shake their heads and most will have a negative tale to tell. I know a few people who go to the Women's in Liverpool to avoid Whiston. That's all good and well when somebody can take you, but my sister drives, not her husband. So she couldn't drive herself there when she's in labour.

I'm appalled at the way various people I know have reportedly been treated and am disgusted that staff appear to be getting away with it.

I would like this to be looked into in more depth. I would appreciate a reply from the appropriate person(s) with information on what is "good practice" and why staff are seemingly not aware of what it is. I'd also like to know what changes may be put in place to stop these horrible and unnecessary cases where women are getting no support.

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Response from NHS Knowsley


Thank you for raising your concerns.

The PALS Team at Whiston Hospital would welcome the opportunity for further discussion in respect of your concerns in order that these may be addressed.

Please do not hesitate to contact the PALS team on 0151 430 1144 to discuss this further.

Kind Regards,

Kelly Owen

PALS Officer

NHS Knowsley

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