"I have paid for private care during my pregnancy after my experiences"

About: Leeds General Infirmary / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I am currently 7 weeks pregnant and last week I had severe pain to one side of my pelvis. As this was my first pregnancy and I didn't know what pain was normal and what wasn't I called NHS direct.

They were concerned that the pain was to one side so contacted an emergency Doctor who called me at home. The emergency Doctor was concerned that the pain could be signs of an ectopic pregnancy, she explained not to panic but to go straight down to A & E and ask for a scan just to have it checked. She said it may not be but to be on the safe side I must have a scan right away because if it is ectopic my tubes could be saved if it is caught early. As I am 38 years old this was very important to me.

I went straight to LGI where we waited for 4 hours, after 4 hours I had to give a urine sample and was then told I would have to wait another 4 hours to see a Doctor, by this time I was in a lot of pain and terrified. I asked if they would scan me and they said no, we don't have the facilities here to scan you. I explained over and over that the emergency Doctor said that I must have a scan as soon as possible. She said the Doctor would just have a look at me.

I don't believe for a second that they don't have an ultrasound machine at LGI, I am aware that a lot of the equipment was moved over to St James but I don't believe that the hospital doesn't have a single ultrasound unit when babies are still born there!

Eventually a Doctor did see me but refused to scan me, they just felt my tummy and then said, it's unlikely because it wouldn't be felt until at least 12 weeks. I have since found out that this is not true, as I was so frightened when I left the hospital I paid to have a scan done privately. The private ultrasound technician looked at me in disbelief when I told her that LGI had refused to give me a scan. She said it was irresponsible of them and that it was a nonsense that an ectopic could not be detected in early pregnancy.

Luckily the private technician did a great job and my pregnancy was healthy and in the correct position. She also checked my ovaries and everything straight away just using the tummy ultrasound..... strangely enough 6 months before LGI couldn't find my ovaries or despite me being scanned by 2 different technicians both internally and externally and they blamed it on excess weight.

This is one more story in a long line of treatment I have had from Leeds General Infirmary, as a result I have paid to have all of my pregnancy scans done privately as I just have no faith or trust in LGI. I will also make sure that my baby isn't born there either.

Whilst I appreciate that NHS staff are overworked and underpaid and they do have to put up with a lot, I believe this is no excuse for the shoddy treatment I have had.

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Response from Involvement Facilitator, NHS Leeds

Thank you for taking the time to feedback your recent negative experience of antenatal care at the Leeds General Infirmary.

I was sorry to learn that due to this experience you have no faith or trust in the care provided at the LGI and that you have paid privately for all your scans to be performed.

You may wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on the freephone number 0800 0525270. We will also pass on your comments to the Patient Relations Manager at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

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