"Yesterday my husband and I went ..."

About: University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing

What I liked

Yesterday my husband and I went through one of the most difficult days of our life - just over a week ago I was diagnosed with a missed miscarriage and yesterday the pregnancy was removed via an ERPC.

Without exception, every one of the medical staff that dealt with us during the course of the day showed us extreme compassion, care and sensitivity - whether that be the different nurses who took my blood, inserted the canula, gave me an injection, administered painkillers and brought us tea and a snack after the procedure, or the member of research staff that scanned me and the consultant who completed the procedure.

We really appreciated the sense that they all understood what a traumatic day it was for us - both physically and emotionally - and the feeling that they wanted to do everything they could to help us through it. We could not have felt more cared for by them.

What could be improved

However, in stark contrast to the medical staff, the administrative/reception staff were abrupt, dismissive and careless in the way they spoke to us and other patients. Eye contact was kept to an absolute minimum by them, as was communicating information about how we could expect the day to unfold. They conveyed the impression that any communication with them beyond me giving them my basic registration details was both inconvenient and unwelcome. We felt a lack of basic human kindness and courtesy.

We understand that at times front line staff can be under a lot of pressure. However, we were in the reception area for two prolonged periods during this day and the staff were not under undue pressure or visibly busy.

Anything else?

In summary, when having to endure the emotional loss and the physical discomfort involved with the ERPC procedure I had at the EGA Wing yesterday, the attitude and behaviour of each and every member of staff we came into contact with made such a difference to us - both positive (in terms of the medical staff) and negative (in terms of the admin/reception staff). If the kindness of the medical staff had been matched by the admin/reception staff our experience would have been as positive as it possibly could have been in the difficult circumstances.

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Response from University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing

The Divisional Manager for Women's Health at UCLH has reviewed your valuable comments and writes: Thank you for taking the time to write your feedback on NHS Choices. We regularly review this feedback and use it to help improve our services to women and their families. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss and the difficult time you have just endured. While I am pleased that the medical and nursing team supported you well during this time, I am unhappy to hear of your experience with the administrative staff. We are very aware the every member of the team contributes to the overall experience of our service. We have had training for reception staff on customer care in the past and are currently evaluating how we can better engage them in an improved level of service for everyone that they come into contact with.

I will be using your feedback to speak to the members of staff specifically involved as well as to drive us to continue our efforts to improve this aspect of our service.