"Nightmare in A&E"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Accident and emergency NHS Direct NHS Trust

(as the patient),

Whilst I was 7 weeks pregnant I started to experience heavy bleeding and severe abdominal pain, I anxiously phoned the NHS Direct Helpline and was told to go straight to Medway Hospital. I was told that I would not have to wait, I needed an emergency ultrasound scan and that the hospital would be expecting me.

Upon arriving at the hospital I was told to go to A&E where I would be seen extremely quickly, however this was not the case.

After sitting in the A&E waiting room for over 6 hours I started growing more and more concerned for both mine and my unborn baby's health, I found the receptionist on duty extremely rude and unhelpful as she couldn't tell me anything about when I was likely to been seen (taking into account I was reassured that I would be seen immediately)

When my name was finally called I was dumped into a side room and was shocked to see blood on the bed and floor (clearly from the previous patient), the doctor who was dealing with me then told me to wait in this blood stained room and reassured me that they would be back to help me in 5-10 minutes. 25 minutes later the doctor returned and told me that they need to carry out an internal examination. During the examination other members of staff freely entered the room without knocking and stood with the door open allowing other patients and members of the public to see in.

I was then told that I had unfortunately suffered a miscarriage and was sent home.

I am absolutely appalled at the treatment I received; furthermore I feel that my dignity was not maintained at this heartbreaking time and I feel that a 6 hour wait to be seen is disgusting for a woman is loosing a baby. I will not be returning to the hospital as I am utterly disgusted in the way that the A&E Department is run.

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Response from Ruth Bender Atik, National Director, The Miscarriage Association

Dear may12

I was very sorry to read about your miscarriage. Losing a baby in pregnancy can be a very upsetting and frightening thing to go through, and it sounds as if the experience you had in hospital only added to that distress.

Please do feel free to contact us at the Miscarriage Association or visit our website if you haven't already, and we will aim to provide you with any information or support that you need at this difficult time.

You can contact us on 01924 200799 or at info@miscarriageassociation.org.uk. Our website =address is www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk.

Wishing you gentler times ahead.


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Response from David Foord, Head of Clinical Governance, NHS Direct

Thank you for your feedback, it must be hard for you to re-live these events by posting them online, but it is appreciated. It sounds like you had a terrible experience at a very distressing time and this is not how we would expect people turning to the NHS for help and support to be treated. As far as any apology can help, I am sorry that you had such a bad experience and in particular for any part that NHS Direct played in this. I would like for us to be able to look into your call to NHS Direct so that we can identify specific areas for learning and change. In order to do this we will need some further information from you to identify your records; please can you provide your name, date of birth, home post-code and the day and approximate time of your call via our confidential online feedback form: https://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/About/ContactUs.aspx

I hope that you have by now received further support, but if not and you do want to call for a clinical assessment, or further information about other sources of advice, you can ring 111 (or 0845 46 47 if the NHS 111 service is not yet available in your area). If you just want information, but don't want a clinical assessment you can also submit a health information enquiry via a confidential form on our website at: https://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/CheckSymptoms/HealthEnquiry

Thanks again for taking the time to let us know about this.

Best wishes,

David Foord

Head of Clinical Governance

NHS Direct

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

Thank you for your feedback regarding your poor experience in the A and E department.

Please accept my apologies on behalf of the trust.

This is not the standard of care you should have expected and I would be grateful if would contact me so I can investigate further and learn from where things have gone wrong.

Thank you

Inma Diaz Alonso

Senior Sister

telephone 07432641371

Bleep 594

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