"Made to feel like an inconvenience"

About: Basildon University Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

When I was around 6-7 weeks pregnant I was concerned about some worrying symptoms and rang the hospital to speak to someone about the possibility of an early scan. I was told or rather shouted at by the operator to ring another extension number. May I just say, that if someone who is already in distress rings up with concerns, shouting at them will cause further distress and upset. I then didn't know where to turn. I was too scared to go to the hospital, as I felt that the people that I had spoken to so far were so rude to me, and also my husband, when he called on my behalf, that I didn't want to even try and go to the hospital to ask if I could have an early scan. In the end, I opted to pay to have a private scan, at which I was treated with the utmost respect and empathy.

I was then due to have my maternity bloods taken, but the appointment was cancelled the evening before. A message was left on my voicemail as I was unable to answer the call, due to being at work. They asked me to call the hospital to re book my blood test appointment. Cue two full days of both myself and my husband trying to call the maternity bloods line to re book my test. There was no answer for two days. At some point in the call you are asked if you would like to leave a message. When you say yes, it then advises they are not available, so you can't leave a message even though you really need to! I then asked to be transferred to the operator, who again rudely advised me which extension I should be calling. I politely informed them that I had been trying said extension for two days, and that I was unable to leave a message. The operator then mumbled something so quietly and quickly, that I was unable to understand where they were putting me through. I was then connected to another department, but I didn't know where I was being connected to. The person answered and was impatient with me when I asked which department I had go through to, as the operator hadn't advised me. I explained to them that I was trying to reach the bloods clinic, and explained that I couldn't get through to the maternity bloods line. The person huffed, and asked their colleague if there was another extension I could try.

By the end of the second day I was able to leave a voicemail with my details.  I have not received a call back. But I hope that I will, because I believe my bloods have to be done, before my first midwife appointment which is due in a couple of weeks.

The only person who has shown me any care is my midwife, who I haven't met yet, but have been speaking to occasionally via text. Everyone else that I have encountered so far at Basildon Hospital by phone, has made me feel so alone, and a complete inconvenience to them. I could have really have used some care and empathy, during what has been and continues to be a worrying time for me. I am at present very worried about continuing my care at this hospital.


Response from Basildon University Hospital

We are very concerned to read of your experience in the early weeks of your pregnancy and would like to discuss your concerns further.

We encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01268 394440 or email pals@btuh.nhs.uk as soon as possible in order for them to liaise with the relevant management teams.

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