"Attitude of staff during pandemic"

About: Liverpool Womens Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

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.
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