"Midwives/ Rectory Lane Debden"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

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I have a high risk pregnancy, with two associated conditions. My GP referred me to a specialist, but my referral was literally blocked by the midwives at Rectory Lane in Debden, who, as far as I understood, also work at Princess Alexandra. Due to my conditions, I may not only lose pregnancy, but also, if it goes on, give birth to a child with potential developmental problems. An appointment with a specialist was therefore vital, so as to put me on correct medication for thyroid and clotting. However, I was told by the midwives that they can't arrange a booking prior to my first scan - which was booked following about 4-5 weeks from the moment my GP referred me to Princess Alexandra Hospital. I was told that I cannot see a specialist before and just have to wait and hope everything will be fine. Their attitude was that, if at first scan the heart is not beating, probably it was not worth being so keen on obtaining an appointment... I was disgusted by this attitude! However, I have managed to see a specialist at Whipps Cross Hospital and he immediately put me on correct medication, referred me to other specialists who will monitor me before the end of my first pregnancy semester (which wouldn't have been the case at Princess Alexandra), recommended supplementary blood tests and all in all, had a great, supportive attitude. He even made a scan to check if child's heart was beating and sent me to the maternity to learn how to make myself anti-clotting injections. I have transferred to Whipps Cross Hospital with absolutely no regrets. I do, however, feel sad that my pregnancy started with such worries and reluctant attitudes from the midwives at Princess Alexandra/ Rectory Lane Centre. I had the feeling that they prefer not to refer patients to doctors, but I can't understand why this "procedure" is considered more important than the patient's healthy. However, a really sad experience and definitely I don't recommend them to anyone.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Anonymous, We are doing everything we possibly can to improve Maternity Services in The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and so I am so sorry you have had this experience. We have spoken to the midwives concerned and they were saddened to read your feedback about your experience. We have taken urgent action to address the questions you have raised and would be keen to discuss these actions with you in detail. I have escalated your concerns to the Executive Team and they will be closely monitoring the outcome of your comment to ensure we deliver a patient centred response. Please get in touch with Patient Experience Team on 01279 82 70 84 if you feel comfortable to do so and we will do absolutely anything we can to assist.

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