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"Kindness, compassion, good communication skills and a gentle manner"

About: Maternity care (Wards 47, 48 & 50) / Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS) Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Gynaecology (Ward 49)

(as a service user),

I was so happy to recently find out that I was pregnant as it is all my husband and I have ever wanted. I had an early private scan for reassurance where I was sadly told that there was no heartbeat and the fetal pole was smaller than it should be. My husband was abroad for work, and so I was alone and heartbroken.

After my private scan I jumped in a taxi straight to QEUH where I cried the whole way there and had the taxi driver asking me if I was pregnant. I got to the waiting room of EPAS and really appreciated the lovely sonographer, Natalie, seeing me so promptly despite it being the weekend and being clearly busy. I’ve never had to sit in a hospital waiting room before whilst feeling such huge emotions.

Natalie was kind, caring and professional. She did an abdominal scan and TVS and confirmed the private scan's findings. She explained the fact that I’d need to wait a week to likely have a miscarriage confirmed, which is really difficult news to hear. It’s very much a skill to communicate bad but also uncertain news. I really appreciated her setting me up with realistic expectations in a gentle manner. She gave me leaflets and an appointment to come back.

When I returned a week later the little radio in the waiting room really helped distract me from all the thoughts in my head. Student midwife Beth greeted me with a smile and quickly informed me that there might be a bit of a wait as the department was busy. Jane, the midwife sonographer, treated me with such kindness when she confirmed that I’d had a missed miscarriage and explained my options. She has a really lovely manner about her and is clearly skilled & experienced at working in such a difficult department. I appreciated her talking to me during the scan, telling me things about the scan and her words of kindness throughout.

I had mifegyne right after my scan (I was glad of this as I really wanted just to get things going and didn’t want to have to wait), and I got booked in to the Gynaecology day ward for a couple of days later. It was there that I was lucky to have nurse Lisa look after me all day. I felt really emotional, vulnerable and not used to being a patient and I really appreciated the continuity of care that day.

Lisa met me in the waiting room, answered every time I buzzed, gave me my medications, and did the speculum examination to complete the miscarriage. It made a difference not having to see different faces & I was so relieved that she was going to be doing the speculum too as I had presumed that it might need to be a Dr. I was also very thankful to have privacy in a single room that was very clean.

The day was very hard for me as I was much sorer that I thought I would be, with some nasty side effects from the medication added in. Lisa answered the buzzer every time with kindness and compassion, heated my heat pack up a million times with no complaints, ensured I was offered adequate pain relief, gave me words of encouragement and explained everything in a really nice, informative, gentle manner.

As the hours ticked on I was getting really worried that the medication wouldn’t work, and cried tears of relief when it was finally over at the speculum. I don’t cope very well with speculum examinations, but Lisa was gentle, timely and coached me through it with kindness. The health care support worker who chaperoned her was also lovely. Lisa offered me a memory box, which I declined but was very appreciative of the offer. She then gave me all the advice I needed for going home. I felt such a mixture of relief and grief.

As a midwife myself, this whole experience has confirmed to me that kindness, compassion, good communication skills and a gentle manner are key, especially when someone is going through the heartache of pregnancy loss no matter the gestation. I very much hope that the QEUH are ensuring their staff are supported to do their jobs well by ensuring safe staffing levels, regular breaks, annual leave and strong leadership from management that value them. Thank you to all the staff involved in my care, I am forever grateful. 

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Responses

Response from Gaynor Bird, Lead Midwife, Maternity, NHSGGC 4 months ago
Gaynor Bird
Lead Midwife, Maternity,
NHSGGC
Submitted on 21/11/2023 at 10:18
Published on Care Opinion at 10:18


picture of Gaynor Bird

Dear Em23,

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know about your experience here with the QEUH Maternity and Gynaecology service during such a distressing and difficult time. I am so sorry for your loss.

I wholeheartedly agree that kindness, compassion, good communication skills and a gentle manner are so important during pregnancy loss and I am so proud of our team here and how well you have been supported and cared for.

I will ensure that Natalie, Jane, Beth and Lisa all receive your kind thanks and can see how their amazing care has impacted on your difficult journey.

Our team often work in really difficult and stressful situations in challenging circumstances and I am always in awe of how they ensure that women and their families remain at the heart of our care. Please be assured that as a senior management team we always prioritise safe staffing levels, breaks and annual leave for the team.

Thank you again and best wishes.

Gaynor

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Response from Nikki Harvey, Lead nurse -Gynaecology, Gynaecology, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde 4 months ago
Nikki Harvey
Lead nurse -Gynaecology, Gynaecology,
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Submitted on 21/11/2023 at 10:30
Published on Care Opinion at 10:30


picture of Nikki Harvey

Dear Em23

I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for being so courageous in offering your feedback on the Maternity and Gynaecology service at QEUH.

I will be sure to tell Lisa that you found her gentle and kind.

If you are looking for more information or support, the following website is helpful:

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

I wish you a gentle recovery.

Kinds regards,

Nikki Harvey

Interim Lead Nurse Gynaecology/ACS

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