About: Birmingham Women's Hospital

I am currently undergoing fertility investigations at BWH. My consultant and the staff I have spoken face to face with have been professional and polite. I have been very happy thus far with those appointments. However, whenever I have had to phone BWH, the staff have been mostly unhelpful or rude.

Firstly, I rang as I had not received an expected letter inviting me to a new test. The situation was a little unusual but every department I spoke to simply bounced me around until I reached my fifth department. I spoke up about how frustrated I was getting and to be fair, this member of staff took responsibility for getting it sorted.

I rang back today to check the time of an appt as I had lost my letter. I waited for a long time for the department to pick up my call. On the call, when I asked the member of staff to repeat something, they did so but rather rudely. When I explained that I didn't have my hospital or NHS numbers to hand, they short temperedly asked whether I could go and get them. I said no due to being at work. They then huffed and held the line for 10 seconds or so, then came back and easily found me using name, dob, address etc. If it was so easy to find me without the numbers, why huff and be so rude? From the start, the member of staff was short and made me feel like I was wasting their time. To be frank, we have no choice but to continue attending BWH but I wouldn't necessarily if we had another option. The department is attached to the maternity hospital, which I appreciate makes sense medically. But it is very insensitive to have couples with fertility issues have to walk past the maternity entrance, share the same ultrasound department, attend the clinic opposite the labour ward. Pregnant ladies everywhere. Even a small separate entrance would help resolve this. Given the that it is such a sensitive issue for those couples, there appears to be little discretion given in this area. Following my investigative ultrasound, I was even given a leaflet to fill out for feedback on the department, which I was happy to do as they had been great. But almost the first question asked was, "how many weeks pregnant are you?". I chucked it in the bin instead. Just a little sensitivity would go a long way.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››