"Disappointing, not what I expect of NHS. Question..."

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

What I liked

Nothing- the whole experience unnerving

What could be improved

The waiting room where the scans take place is filthy, smelly and lacking in privacy. Completely overcrowded and had a leaking ceiling. Some of thev ceiling tiles were down when I visited. The bathroom is dirty and lacking in privacy.

Anything else?

I had a bleed early on in pregnancy and attending the emergency GP. I was told I could not have a scan for 4 days. This put an incredible amont of stress on myself and my husband. In the end I payed for a private scan. RBH treated my like a number and were uncaring. I was given incorrect advice regarding anti d treatment- I was told it was only required at 14 weeks. I checked the guidelines it was 12 weeks. When I had a nuchal scal, the sonographer treated me like a number and was quite uncaring. I am classed as higher risk due to age so was concerned re Downs. The sonographer rushed the scan and to me did not seem bothered by the fact she only got 2 measurements instead of 3. The two values were quite different and when I questioned why one figure had been chosen over another I felt there was no time to explore this. Surely it is quite important that the correct number is chosen. It was left to the healthcare assistant to counsel me!. Next my wieght had been incorrectly entered on the lab test request form. When I got the results back I queried them and my risk increased significantly when the data corrected. It is worrying that this could be happening often and this could go unspotted. Such was the lack of confidence in the NHS at the Royal Berks I paid for a nuchal scan to be done privately. Guess what- I got the result straight away. A much more positive experience and had all my questions answered. I was treated like a human. Would not recommend the royal berks. I am dreading giving birth there if these experiences are anything to go by. I am going to have a 20 week scan done privately as I cannot cope with the stress of visiting the royal berks for a scan again.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We are sorry to hear that you had such a disappointing experience when attending for your scan; if you would like to discuss the scan issues in more detail, please contact Lynn Fulford, Lead Sonographer at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Unfortunately, the department is in the middle of major essential building improvements and there was a problem for a short time when we experienced water leaks. This has now been resolved and the damaged ceiling tiles have all been replaced. The Matron has checked the bathroom within the scan area and it is not dirty or smelly today but she has passed your comments on to the manager for housekeeping.

With regard to your concerns regarding the number of images taken by the sonographer, the procedure followed was quite normal. All of our sonographers carry out rigorous audits of the images produced for Down's syndrome screening and can tell by looking at an image which is the best by applying strict criteria to it. Although it is always preferable to produce three images, it is not always possible as the baby may move into a position that does not permit further measurements to be taken. If this is the case and the sonographer has two good images already, they are deemed sufficient. We apologise that this was not explained to you at the time.

The ultrasound department is exceptionally busy and sometime this can lead to the sonographers working under a lot of pressure and being unable to spend as much time with patients as they would like. We would like to apologise if this resulted in you feeling rushed and not adequately counselled.

We are concerned that you 'dread giving birth at the Royal Berkshire Hospital' and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you, so that you can look forward to attending the maternity unit in the future. Please contact Linda Rough, Matron for Hospital Maternity Services on 0118 322 7311 if you wish to discuss this further.

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