"Awful experience made worse"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

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A recent visit to A&E at medway has to be one of the worst experiences of my life. Sadly my recently pregnant partner started bleeding at home. By the early hours of Monday morning, the pain forced us to visit the hospital. From start to finish was disgraceful. The receptionist left us stood there for ten minutes while she chatted away before telling us we were about 10 inches to the left of the yellow line and should move if we wanted to be called. My partner was in extreme pain yet she insisted we stand there to be called and once been assessed, called us back just to confirm the name and address. The rather cold nurse had a poor grasp of English, and after finally managing to explain my partner needed some sanitary towels, she was given what I would describe as an adult nappy and were told that's all they had as it was a Sunday. We were then left in the waiting room with my partner crying, bleeding heavily, and in agony for over 2 hours while she effectively miscarried. Fortunately she was spotted by what seemed to be the only caring nurse there, who thought my partner had a bad back until we explained what was happening, and she quickly got us into a cubicle. The next nurse who carried out the exam spent 20 minutes running round graphically trying to explain to other poorly trained nurses which 'tools' she needed to remove the 'products'. I understand that they have to be clinical but to have no compassion, sympathy or treat patients with any dignity I find hard to accept. We asked for a bag for my partners blood soaked clothes and some wet wipes to at least clean her up, neither of which arrived. Machines didn't work, equipment wasn't there, communication was poor and the treatment was appalling, unsympathetic and undignified. I hope I never have to use this facility again. Needless to say it came as no surprise that it has been earmarked for extra scrutiny for the chronic failure to provide acceptable levels of care. Should the female consultant who helped us recognise this story, please accept my thanks for a small glimmer of light on an otherwise very dark experience. You were truly lovely.

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Response from Suzanne Brooker, Head of Patient Experience, Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Greg thank you for your feedback.

Please extend my sincere condolences to you and your partner on your loss.

This was clearly a poor experience, please accept my apologies on behalf of the trust.

I would very much like the opportunity to hear first hand about this experience so that we can make improvements to the service we provide.

If you would like to discuss further at a time convenient to you both then please ring me, Suzanne Brooker Head of Patient Experience on 01634 830000 ex 5175

Your feedback is important to us.

Thank you

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Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

The experience you describe is wholly unacceptable and I am really concerned at the lack of care, compassion, dignity and respect you describe. I am sincerely sorry to hear about your experience which must be investigated further. I do however need more details from you to enable me to do this. Please do contact me so I gather a few more details from you. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I look forward to speaking to. Inmaculada Diaz Alonso Clinical Lead, Emergency Department inmaculada.diaz-alonso@medway.nhs.uk 01634 830000 x3322

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