"Stay away from Antenatal at Royal London - they…"

About: The Royal London Hospital

When I found out I was pregnant in December last year, I excitedly rang my GP who told me to reach out to the Royal London Hospitals antenatal care unit to refer myself and book any antenatal appointments.

I was given two telephone numbers and started calling them immediately but gave up after 4 consecutive days of hearing nothing but the engaged tone at all hours. It felt very much like they'd just pulled the plug on that telephone altogether.

I tried the hospital switchboard and when I explained who I was trying to reach, they laughed and wished me good luck. My GP had a similar reaction when I told him that I couldn't get hold of anyone at the hospital for the dear life of me and said that he's been getting this feedback a lot.

I then went on to fill out the online self-referral and sent it off to the indicated e-mail address on January 3rd. Today is February 11th and I still haven't heard back from anyone at Royal London at all. (Not that I'd need to now, since I miscarried the first pregnancy.)

I reached out to their PALS team and they assured me that they'd try and look into it but again, there was no feedback from them whatsoever.

Now that I'm pregnant again, I went to my GP to get my referral letter but the nurse practitioner I saw already knew that the hospital is unlikely to get back to me in due course and told me to just walk into the hospital if I haven't heard back from them in two weeks time.

In the meantime, I've been trying to use their online chat regularly but never get as far as an initial 'How can I help?' only to never get another response after I've explained my situation.

Their telephone lines are as engaged as ever, no matter the time of day you're calling.

Overall, I am devastated at the experience I'm having with the antenatal unit at the Royal London Hospital so far. I appreciate that the NHS is one of the biggest gifts of this country but can not fathom how vulnerable people like pregnant women can be left to their own devices like this, especially after having gone through a traumatic miscarriage before.

I don't trust this hospital one bit and would advise anyone to self-refer elsewhere.

The utter lack of consideration for its (future) patients is terrible, nobody should have to go through this.

Story from nhs.uk


Response from The Royal London Hospital

Dear Patient

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your feedback. We were very disappointed to learn that your experience did not match the expectation you had of us. We would like an opportunity to investigate the issues you have raised and the findings of our enquires will be shared with you. We would therefore like to request that you contact the Central Complaints Team with your details- BHNT.CentralComplaints@nhs.net or telephone 0207 480 4776.

Thank you

Kind regards

Central Complaint Team

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