"The upsetting experience during my miscarriage"

About: NHS Direct NHS Trust North Tyneside General Hospital / Gynaecology Wansbeck Hospital

(as the patient),

I had been bleeding on and off for a few weeks and since you don't see a midwife until 12 weeks there really wasn't anyone around to ask if this was normal. I woke up one morning and had bled through my pajamas so decided to call NHS direct. They put me straight through to Rake Lane and was booked in for a scan within a few hours. There wasn't a heartbeat then, I should have been around 8 weeks. Another scan was made for the following week, again no heartbeat. I was told that I had more than likely had a miscarriage. Another scan the following week was set to determine if I still was pregnant as the midwife was concerned I had mixed up my dates. I hadn't, I could even tell you when we conceived. I was told to come back in 2 weeks time to see if I had passed it but low and behold, it was still there on the screen. That was last Thursday and I requested a d&c as I could not bear the thought of a baby dead, I'm sorry for being graphic, lying inside me.

I was told that if I could go to Wansbeck at 7. 30am the following day, I would be put on the emergency list. I didn't have to wait as within a few hours I began to miscarry normally. The pain was horrendous. I called Rake Lane, who are less than 5 minutes away and was told to call Wansbeck. It was almost 40 minutes away, and this was tea time traffic. I got to the hospital and was told to wait in a waiting room, which had other people in. The chairs were awful and the pain awful too.

After 2 hours I got up to go to the toilet and crouched down by the wall. A doctor came past and asked if I was okay. I was already crying with pain and unable to move and said that I've been left in a waiting room. She saw me straight away and did an examination. I was finally given pain relief and at last a bed and that is when my pain was unbearable. I lost lots of blood, tissue, everything. No one came and changed the sheets or mats, my mother in law had to.

The one nurse on the ward was wonderful and she got me through the night, which was mostly spent throwing up off morphine and sitting on a commode passing my baby. I thought it was terrible that I had to go through this trauma on a ward with 5 other women. The lady in the next bed had her husband with her late on in the night and he was the one who ran for help when I was bleeding so heavily. I had to wait 7 hours for pain killers and tried to keep myself from screaming with pain on a ward.

The 2 women I was opposite cried along with me, I could hear them behind the curtain. I'm not sure who will read this, if any. If you've gone through this, then you know what I'm feeling, the hurt, the anger and the confusion. If you're reading this from a medical profession, have some compassion. Your patient is losing her baby, scared and traumatised, the least you can do is put her in a side room. I was booked in for a d&c in the morning as I didn't pass all of it. I say morning, it was after 12pm since the lady from theatre was told I wasn't on the ward. I was actually scheduled in for 8am that morning. Without my nurse though, I would not have got through it.

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Response from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

I'm very sorry to read of your recent experiences within the Trust. May I firstly extend condolences on the loss of your baby, I know this must be a very difficult time for you and your family.

We always endeavour to deliver care to the highest possible standard, however it is clear that on this occasion we have failed to do so and I am extremely sorry. I would like to investigate this matter further so if you could please provide me with further details through our Patient Services department on 0191 2031340 / patient.services@nhct.nhs.uk so I can provide a full response.

In the meanwhile I have shared your comments regarding the care you have received with the matron and ward manger so that they can ensure that this situation does not occur again in future.

Once again please accept my sincere apologies for the upset and distress that this incident has caused, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Janice McNichol

Head of Midwifery