"Maternity helpline doesn't really help"
About: St Mary's Hospital (London) St Mary's Hospital (London) London W2 1NY
I found the accessibility and efficiency of the Maternity Helpline and the Booking Office below standard. I called the Helpline last Wednesday with some warning signs of miscarriage but was told that I should not worry (I'm over 43 and it was an IVF pregnancy). I was asked to book an appointment which I wasn't able to do it due to the fact that a week was not enough to my GP to refer me. I was transferred back to the Helpline to do the self-referral but I gave up after waiting over 40 minutes. Instead I sent my self-referral the next day by e-mail and called the Booking Office a few hours later. The operator was very unfriendly and rude and insisted on transferring my call to the Helpline. They didn't want to understand that the previous day I already talked to them and they suggested to book an appointment as soon as I can. Finally a more professional person took it over and I was assured to be booked as soon as possible. I've received my appointment for the following Monday but on Friday I miscarried. I know that being seen by someone and having a scan would not prevent the unfortunate event but I begged to know if the baby is still alive. Probably she was not... As the miscarriage happened outside of London out of hours I was not able to cancel my first appointment with the midwife, so I went there with the hope that they are going to arrange a scan. I was sent to the A & E to book a time there but they didn't understand why I'm there and not at my GP who should refer me for a scan.
Now I clearly understand why there are so many charities and helplines offering support after miscarriage as when it happens, no-body seems to care. Being sent from place to place while no-one wants to arrange a scan to see if the miscarriage is completed or need a surgical termination is not the best experience after such a loss...