"Early pregnancy unit"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

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I had a miscarriage a week ago and felt that the care I received from the early pregnancy unit was sub-standard. The nurses and midwives I encountered were friendly and supportive, however, the doctor I met was very uncaring. Despite bleeding heavily and having a scan, which showed a much smaller baby than expected, miscarriage was never mentioned as a possible outcome. I knew from my own research that this was a possibility and was shocked at the lack of information provided by the unit. I was told to come back in a week’s time for a follow up scan, however, in the meantime I miscarried and suffered a lot of pain and discomfort at home. I missed my follow up scan because the unit took so long to return my call when I informed them of what had happened. I then had to wait another four days until I was given another appointment to come in. At no point did any of the nurses call me to see if I was ok, I was given no information on what had happended to me or informed of any available support. As I was left to my own devices I ended up calling 111 in desperation as no one from the unit would pick up the phone and I started to feel very unwell and developed a fever four days after the miscarriage. An out-of-hours doctor at another hospital saw me and prescribed me with antibiotics for an infection. At my follow up scan I was offered no information on miscarriage or support from any of the team I met. I feel very let down by the unit.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your message here and for getting in touch by email and telephone. I was sorry to hear about your experience, we are working hard to make improvements and so it was really helpful to be able to understand exactly what you went through and for us to pinpoint the changes we need to urgently make to ensure the service consistently meets the very high standards we expect. I am sorry you met this uncaring doctor as we do not expect this kind of approach in, what is in general a very caring service, so we will be reviewing this urgently. The same applies to the lack of information provided, which is available, and I know this would have meant you felt very unsupported. The Service is working hard to improve and we are in the process of implementing an Improvement Plan which has come from several "In Your Shoes" workshops with women and partners who have highlighted similar issues to those you mention. We would be delighted to have you involved if you felt this would be helpful. Although I know you state that the nurses and midwives were friendly and supportive, we know we have much to improve and so, if ever, in future you felt you needed to raise a concern please do email on pals@pah.nhs.uk or call us on 01279 82 70 84 and we will everything we can to assist.

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