"Care during early pregnancy and loss"

About: University Hospital Hairmyres / Early Pregnancy Assessment Service University Hospital Wishaw / Maternity Care (Wards 21-24)

(as a service user),

I have recently endured two early pregnancy losses, and also one later one, at 18 weeks. The care I received from the Early Pregnancy Assessment Services at Hairmyres and then within various teams at Wishaw was outstanding.

I always knew people working in pregnancy-related fields would be caring and compassionate individuals but I didn't imagine just how important this was until now. Margaret, Sheila and Corrina at Hairmyres EPAS have been nothing but kind and helpful with every loss, ensuring I felt comfortable to pick up the phone, speak to them and always ensuring I knew what was happening with my health, and that they were also comfortable with what was happening.

They scanned, took blood tests and generally made sure everything was well for me but, crucially, provided me with information and care to help me work through these sad losses. Until you are in this situation, you don't know how you will feel, react or what to do, but they make a big difference to women in the area.

The exact same can be said about every person in Wishaw who helped us through the late loss. We encountered midwifery teams from EPAS, Day Bed, Labour Ward, plus specialist midwives, as well as registrars and a consultant with her team. Every one of those people had an impact on helping us through a truly tragic time. Without the care and respect and guidance from each of then, I don't know how we would ever have gotten through these times.

The one observation I have for improvement needed in care of women in such a tragic situation is to do with the specific set up within Hairmyres Early Pregnancy Assessment Service and Day Bed Unit.

Before I cover the improvement, I would like to reiterate the care I received in these units was outstanding. The staff were open, honest and realistic with me each time I saw them, but always with compassion and care in bucketloads. They made a very difficult situation more bearable, and I felt at all times my health and feelings were their priority. I cannot fault the service and having such a facility within Hairmyres is a very good thing for continuity of care over these months.

My observation links to the unit lay out - I appreciate it is a small space which needs to fit into whatever real estate within the hospital it is given, however it feels like an afterthought. Unfortunately the waiting area of EPAS and for day bed is the same waiting area, despite the often very different nature of appointments. During my many sad and empty visits to this unit, I had to endure waiting in an area where many visibly pregnant women were attending appoints for scans and assessments in day bed. These women were with partners or talking on the phone about how excited they were and how things were going great, and so easy (etc.), whilst I was waiting to be told I was no longer pregnant and my dreams and future were about to crash around me. On one occasion, a heavily pregnant women was called for scan and then returned to the waiting room until her blood test appointment was ready. The sonographer came out as the woman had left her scan pictures behind. I had to listen to the woman thank the sonographer and say how excited she was, and she was going to call her husband straight away and let him know the good news and progress, whilst looking at the pictures right next to me. She did then call her husband and tell him every detail of the scan. I know it would've been hard not to have her husband at the appointment but I sat next to her, with nowhere to go in case I was called, whilst she replayed all moments of her scan and how the baby moved and had grown (etc. etc.). I was right beside her, feeling sick to my core and struggling to hold back my tears, with my husband doing the exact same. These women most likely don't realise that some of us are here for this reason and would never, of course, intend to upset me however most times I attended this unit, I was in tears before getting into the room because of this. Again, I appreciate it is a small space to accommodate the unit, but the emotional impact is so very significant and the experience is impacted as a result. 

Responses

Response from Amanda Kennett, Senior Midwife for Inpatients, University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire 4 weeks ago
Amanda Kennett
Senior Midwife for Inpatients, University Hospital Wishaw,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 10/03/2020 at 13:36
Published on Care Opinion at 13:36


picture of Amanda Kennett

Dear flo1

I was sorry to read about your pregnancy losses and know how difficult this will have been for you. I was very please to read however, about the care and compassion that you received from all the different staff that cared for you within the different areas. It was lovely to read your appreciative comments regarding your care.

Thank you for your comments regarding the specific set up within Hairmyres Early Pregnancy Assessment Service and Day Bed Unit. I think perhaps that this is something we can look at to see if we can try and get a degree of privacy in this area for women at this distressing time. As you say the area is small and trying to achieve this may be difficult but we will certainly have a look at this waiting area and see if there are any alternatives available that may help. Thank you again for highlighting this.

Regards

Amanda

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