"EPAU: nurses excellent but overstretched,..."
About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Norwich NR4 7UY
What I liked
The doctor I saw initially on Cley ward was very good. She was apologetic that I had endured a 4hr wait, and took the time to do a thorough examination. She was reassuring that a further wait for a more detailed scan should not be a problem for me. Unfortunately I don't remember her name.
At the subsequent appointment, the EPAU nurses were brilliant - caring and informative, letting me know what was going on and what I needed to do. One made the effort to follow up with a phone call later, even though her shift had ended.
What could be improved
It was very difficult to get an appointment at the EPAU when I suffered bleeding in early pregnancy. My GP requested this, due to my previous history of ectopic pregnancy including emergency admission, but the waiting time was 10 days. I was sent to the gynae ward instead where, after examination, a doctor arranged an EPAU appointment the next working day.
During the appointment itself, the clinic was obviously very busy, with the morning session overrunning and nurses doing their best to clear the backlog. It seems that more resources are needed for this service.
The consultant at the clinic, was brusque and unsympathetic. He seemed surprised that I was upset and anxious (I was losing a third pregnancy in 15 months). He asked the same questions that the nurse had just asked me in the interview room, which was unnecessarily distressing. After concluding bluntly that there was no evidence of pregnancy from the scan, his statement of the next steps in my treatment was conducted while looking at my husband, not me. He did not seem to appreciate the significance or emotional impact of the loss at all.
I have unfortunately needed to attend the EPAU on a few occasions. I have previously been seen by other consultants who were more sympathetic, but the nurses have been excellent every time.