"Maternity and miscarriage"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Maternity unit

(as the patient),

My first miscarriage (at 6 weeks) landed me in FVRH.

I was told to go home and take a paracetamol. 4 months later, miscarriage number 2 was also dismissed as 'nothing' to worry about - no checks, no scan, no advice.

Miscarriage number 3 at 12 weeks, was dealt with better, and the staff on ward 6 were excellent.

Can't say the same about the info I was given. We were sent to EPAS (the wrong place) to wait for a scan. There was no-one there, and when we asked staff about this we were told to sit and wait. For 2. 5 hours. Eventually, we were taken to the correct place, where we were told that we'd missed our slot.

Having stood our ground, we were eventually seen, and I had a scan.

At no point did anyone offer support or advice about these 3 miscarriages, and I was never offered any kind of investigation.

I'm now pregnant again, and having already been given misinformation, no named midwife, and less information than I'd have received at other hospitals.

I've learned that there are NO ante-natal classes offered. I've now been sent a letter telling me that I've missed my 16 week appointment and will have to see my GP to re-book.

My appointment isn't for another week and a half.

Who is running this shambles? ?

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Response from Gail Bell, Deputy Head of Midwifery, Women and Children, NHS Forth Valley

With regards to your posting, it is difficult to give a precise and personal response to your issues, as we would require more personal detail. If you would like to contact me directly, I will be happy to discuss the specifics of your care and share my findings with you.

I have tried to respond, as far as I can, to the points you raised.

When a patient suffers a miscarriage, there are specific examinations and observations undertaken to confirm pregnancy loss and the appropriate advice is given. I would be happy to chat to you about the specifics of your care if this did not happen. It is our current practice to undertake clinical investigations when someone suffers three or more recurrent pregnancy losses and to arrange a meeting with a Consultant Obstetrician. I am unsure on reading your posting, if this happened in your case or not?

Thank you for your positive comments regarding ward 6 staff; this has been passed on to the Ward Manager.

Regarding the long wait in the Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS), I would not expect anyone to wait as long as you have described without an explanation being given. It is really important that we keep women and their families updated, especially at such an emotional and sensitive time, I apologise if that did not happen in your case. We have recently undertaken a review of the EPAS and will carry out another patient experience audit to ensure we are aware, and appropriately managing and communicating, any delays within the service.

I am pleased to hear you are now pregnant. With regards to your current pregnancy, all women coming to FVRH to have their baby are booked with a specific Midwifery Team. The Midwife undertaking the booking history takes on the role of Named Midwife. This is also documented in the patient held notes.

It is difficult to respond about the contents of a letter I have not seen however, I can confirm that there is no need for women to go to a GP to arrange a booking appointment unless that is their preferred option. The Midwife is the first point of contact in most pregnancies, and pregnant women can phone the booking bureau directly to receive an appointment for history taking (booking). If an appointment is missed it would be normal practice for a follow-up appointment to be made to see the midwife unless the GP is specifically requested.

All NHS Forth Valley Midwifery Teams offer a programme of parenting classes or will try to tailor a woman’s parenting requirements to meet the woman’s individual needs.

As before, if you are happy to share the details with me I will look into your care. It is truly important that we are able to get all the learning we can when anyone has a less than positive experience within our service.

I hope this finds you well.

Contact details:

Gail Bell.

Deputy Head of Midwifery/ Senior Midwife.


e-mail: gailbell@nhs.net

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