"Attitude of staff during pandemic"
About: Liverpool Womens Hospital / Maternity care Liverpool Womens Hospital Maternity care L8 7SS
Posted by Sad times (as ),
In late March 2020 I unexpectedly discovered I was pregnant; the same time as the national pandemic was introduced.I was in shock and wasn’t sure how far along the pregnancy was. During the April bank holiday I began to experience light bleeding and acute pain in my lower abdomen, my partner suggested I contacted my GP. At this point my GP would not see any patients face to face so I had a telephone appointment. My GP expressed concern about the symptoms I was experiencing and advised me to present at Liverpool Womens Hospital A&E immediately. Fortunately I had a friend to drive me there. I felt frightened, vulnerable and upset, I could not stop crying.On arrival at the Women's Hospital I had to approach alone ,with my friend parking a 5 mins walk away from the entrance. I was confronted by a security officer who told me I could not go into the hospital and loudly asked me why are you here anyway.I explained I had been sent under the guidance of GP, crying, I read a small note on the hospital door saying A&E was appointment only with a phone number attached. I immediately began to ring this number which continued to ring out. After 5 minutes of the phone ringing out, I was still standing outside and still very emotional, I asked the security guard to assist me, they told me to cheer up and smile. Eventually they agreed to let me present at the main reception.Again at reception I was confronted by 2 more security officers; luckily a nurse saw how upset I was and offered to help me. I explained my situation to them and although they showed me kindness the fact I had to disclose this in the main foyer was less than comfortable. The nurse phoned through to the a&e team.Within a minute a nurse presented to me, they were covered in PPE so I could hardly make out what they were saying and when I asked them to repeat what they had said they shouted across the foyer “why have you turned up here?” I was clearly emotional.I explained my GP had sent me and the nurse replied (again in the foyer) “Thats not true its a bank holiday, no GP is open, so why are you here” I then had to explain in the main foyer my situation and she said “you shouldn’t be here” it was only when I asked what else I was meant to do the nurse told me to follow them. I was then placed in a side room and left alone for 10 minutes. After then the same nurse returned and abruptly asked me for my name which they wrote on a scrap of paper.Nothing else said I was again left alone for 5-10mins. On their return the accused me of not being in the system. I confirmed my details and it transpired the nurse had written my name incorrectly. Again I was left alone for a longer period this time and during which another nurse entered the room, ignoring me and took something from a cupboard. When the nurse returned they abruptly asked me to explain my symptoms/issue . I was an emotional wreck at this point but summoned the assertiveness to bring to the nurses attention that I was feeling vulnerable, and that they had not even introduced them self or explained anything to me in the time I’d been there.The nurse seemed taken a back but I did try to generalize this by saying the “pandemic is causing a lot of stress to nurses who should be at home” As I waited to see the doctor I requested a tissue and some water, with so much emotion I had none left. The nurse agreed but did not bring this to me.I eventually saw a doctor who was professional, helpful and empathic and dealt with my matter.I understand that the pandemic is causing all kinds of new stresses and challenges for both individuals and organizations. However I am so disappointed and disgusted at how this front line and nursing staff acted towards me as a clearly upset, vulnerable women alone at hospital. It really isn’t acceptable.It has taken me a long time to write this account but of course I never forget it.