"Excellent staff and cleanliness, would recommend."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

What I liked

I visited the Early Pregnancy Unit with a suspected miscarriage. Unfortunately this was confirmed by the doctor and urine tests on the day, and the results of the blood tests two days later, as well as the ultrasound. The doctor in the EPU was wonderful, consulted me on how I wanted to proceed (e.g. medical intervention or wait and see) and was very patient and sympathetic. She made sure I knew I could return and see her when I came for the blood test results and though I decided not to in the end, it was good to know I could (I saw the nurse instead). The radiologist was also very good, and the nurses were too. The hospital was also spotless.

What could be improved

Reception in the EPU was a little disorganised, and I was told they would do a blood test in the ultrasound dept by the EPU when only the blood testing dept was still open (I was there on a Friday). Not a massive problem but I do think staff should know the different hours of their related departments.

A big thing that could be improved would be a separate waiting area for women who suspect a miscarriage. It was incredibly upsetting to have to sit in the same waiting room as women happy and laughing, or chatting away to their children, while I sat in the corner with my husband weeping. It made the whole experience far more traumatic than it need have been, and considering how common miscarriage is I would expect the hospital to show a bit more sensitivity! I was told we could wait outside (basically on the ground, as there wasn't even a bench there) and had it been raining there was no cover, either. As we had to wait a long time to be seen this was very uncomfortable, and I was worried I would miss my slot as I couldn't hear the nurses call patients from outside.

Parking should not be pre-pay and it is way too expensive. As there is no way of knowing how long you are going to be, and it seems heartless to give parking tickets to people visiting hospital, how about an exit payment scheme instead, where you get a ticket and pay for the actual hours you were there, as well as the option to pay by card (not everyone keeps change for parking handy). Otherwise it seems to be more of a revenue-raising scheme rather than a patient facility.

Anything else?

Overall the impression I got was of excellent cleanliness and kind, professional staff.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your comments on the Early Pregnancy Unit. We are glad that the staff provided a good standard of care to you during this difficult period. Your comments about the reception will be fedback to the team because it is important this aspect of the service is working well.

The other issues you have raised will be sent across to the departments. It is important your views are acknowledged and the services are changed to reflect this feedback.

Overall, we are glad that your impression of the hospital was positive. Thank you

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