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"Miscarriage at Gynaecology Emergency Department"

About: Liverpool Womens Hospital Liverpool Womens Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I'm 26, and found out I was pregnant at the end of Nov 2020. I have a chromasonal disorder which makes it difficult for me to get pregnant, and which also makes me susceptible to miscarriages. My partner and I were so happy, but obviously very nervous at this news. 

I experienced bleeding at the beginning of December and on my way to the hospital I tried contacting the Emergency Early Pregnancy Unit at the Gynaecology Emergency Department (GED) EIGHT times and had no answer. Not acceptable. 

Once we arrived, my partner had to wait outside of the hospital due to COVID precautions and was told that my doctor would call him in if necessary. 

When I arrived at the GED I was extremely distressed and I received absolutely no words of comfort from any of the staff. I sat in the waiting area alone, in pain, and I was not checked up on once. I was also sat in the waiting area with other women laughing and joking about their experiences giving birth, while I was sat to see if I had miscarried my first pregnancy. I should have been asked to have waited in a more private room. 

The Triage nurse I saw was also extremely apathetic and clinical towards me, and thought I had Chrons Disease after expressing to this staff member that I have a chromosomal disorder. The Triage nurse also heavily expressed that I could not have my partner with me for support, which was clearly not something the doctor had considered. 

After an agonising wait in the waiting room, I finally saw a Nurse Practitioner who informed me that my urine sample came back that I was no longer pregnant. I had told them I had taken eight tests and they all came back positive. I was devastated and thought at this point they would have asked if I had someone with me for support. Instead I was asked if I was not using protection??. I found this completely inappropriate and heartless to say to a woman experiencing a miscarriage and who was clearly devastated at the news. 

After further tests, I learned that there was very little pregnancy hormone in my blood, indicating an inevitable miscarriage. I received no words of compassion or support, and no staff members asked whether someone was here to collect me. I left the GED alone and once I returned home I experienced my miscarriage. 

I understand the difficulties that the hospital is facing and the extra precautions that it needs to take to make sure its staff and patients are safe during the pandemic. But the Liverpool Women's Hospital needs to show a level of common sense. I should not have experienced that trauma alone, and experienced such inappropriate and unacceptable care. 

I will never forgive the hospital for my experience. 

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Responses

Response from Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust nearly 2 years ago
We have made a change
Submitted on 22/12/2020 at 09:24
Published on Care Opinion at 10:36


Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your recent experience within in our Gynaecology Emergency Department (GED) following the devastating miscarriage that you and your partner have recently gone through.

I am so sorry for the experience that you both have had at this very difficult time. It is not one that we expect our patients and partners to have to go through and words will not be able to make this any easier for you both. We will be able to learn from your experience and look at improving a number of things that you have both identified, to prevent other patients and partners going through the trauma that you have described with a lack of comfort, compassion and kindness.

The delay that you have described in the Emergency Pregnancy Unit (EPAU) situated within the GED was unacceptable. Currently the way in which our patients contact the GED and EPAU is being reviewed. A second telephone triage line is now in place to try and ensure the phone is answered in a timely way.

Your experience will be shared with staff in the GED and EPAU so that they can reflect on how you and your partner were made to feel. They will be asked to reflect on the lack of empathy and understanding that has left lasting memories that both you and your partner will never forget, as you have described in your feedback.

Currently we are reviewing the ways in which we can help facilitate partners being with our patients who are experiencing an early pregnancy loss in line with Government guidance. As you have described, the importance of being able to support each other going through a miscarriage and the loss of a much longed for pregnancy is clear.

It is evident from the way in which you have described the consultation with the triage staff that they failed to listen to what you were trying to convey regarding your medical history and failed to acknowledge the anxiety and worry that you were experiencing regarding your first pregnancy, and what the outcome might be, for both you and your partner.

We will be working with our Honeysuckle Team, who provide bereavement support, to provide awareness raising sessions regarding early pregnancy loss and how support for patients and partners is paramount at this difficult, frightening and devastating time.

I want to sincerely apologise that the negative experience that you received in our GED further added to your grief at this time.

If you would like to discuss your experience please contact our Patient Experience Team who can arrange suitable time for us both. They can be contacted on 0151 702 4353 or via email PALS@lwh.nhs.uk

Regards

Gillian Walker

Gynaecology Matron

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