"Compassion & empathy"

About: Victoria Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

We are writing this to highlight a lack of compassion my wife and I experienced over the telephone earlier this morning. We are on our 3rd pregnancy and this morning when my wife woke up noted spotting of blood which we did not experience with the other 2 pregnancies.

As panic set in we attempted to call a number of maternity services, community midwifes with no answer and maternity assessment which took several attempts and was finally answered by an uncompassionate member of staff. We were merely looking for reassurance as we are unsure how many weeks we are but were ushered off the phone within a minute and being told they were unable to help and contact either our GP of NHS 24. This occurred at 0900 and finally managed to get a GP appointment at 1650.

When we seen the GP they are unable to offer any support as it is Friday night and maternity scanning etc are now closed for the weekend. I would like to point out we were not looking for a scan but simple advice which the maternity member of staff was unable to give. I do not see the point of taking a GP appointment when we were on a phone to an expert this morning but was obviously far too busy and lacked compassion and empathy to care.

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Responses

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Worried parents

Thank you for your post. I was sorry to hear about your experience and appreciate this must have been a very frightening for you. Our Clinical Lead for Maternity Services and Head of Midwifery have had sight of your post and are concerned that you were treated this way. They are keen to speak to you directly and have asked that I urge you to contact us so that they can address your concerns and make sure that everything is now OK.

Please contact Patient Relations on 01592 648069 in the first instance and mention you posted on Patient Opinion. This will enable us to connect you to the appropriate person to speak to.

Regards

Louise Ewing

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Update posted by Worried parents (the patient)

Thank you for your response. I am pleased this has been viewed by the head of maternity services within NHS fife. We were only looking for staff to be reminded that no matter what pregnancy you are having that parents are anxious as no pregnancy is the same.

We are not wanting to make any formal complaint but would like to use this event as a learning opportunity and hopefully as change agent concerning attitude and behaviours.

Thankfully the bleeding stopped on the Saturday and through on line research we assume this may have been caused by implantation of the embryo and nothing more sinister.

Regards

Worried parents

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Worried parents

Thanks for getting back in touch and I am glad to hear that the situation has resolved. We welcome all feedback, good and bad and don't always need to do so in a formal complaints process. We find that speaking to people directly is often all that is required to resolve an issue and we are still able to feed that back to staff.

I hope things now go smoothly for you; however if you do have any further concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch. Your post is being shared with our midwifery staff so we can re iterate the importance of responding to people in a compassionate way.

Regards

Louise Ewing

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