"Sympathetic treatment would have made the situation more bearable."

About: Rotherham Hospital / Accident and emergency Rotherham Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I had a miscarriage at 11-weeks in October 2012; it was my first pregnancy. The bleeding started at about midday on a Saturday afternoon and I immediately went to the local A&E, accompanied by my mother. I'm not quite sure what I expected to happen at this point, but I was left to wait for an hour and a half before being seen. I found this incredibly traumatic - I was bleeding fairly heavily and crying uncontrollably as I felt that the wait could be harming any chance of my baby being saved. I was left to sit in a busy reception area until my mother begged for me to be moved somewhere else, at which point I was directed to a chair just around the corner. I was finally seen by a doctor that I felt was completely unsympathetic - he listened to my symptoms (essentially heavy bleeding) and stated that it was likely that I was having a miscarriage but couldn't have a scan until Monday as my miscarriage was not an emergency (although to me it certainly was) and they were no available staff to perform an ultrasound. He said I should go home and return on Monday. This left me completely devastated as the thought of having to wait two days to find out if my baby was alive - coupled with the idea of having to deal with it at home - was appalling. After a long bout of crying he at least booked me an appointment for the Monday, but I was told there was nothing else they could do.

I returned home and the bleeding continued all day on Saturday and through to Sunday. I returned to A&E on Sunday and again had to wait for some time to be seen, in a busy waiting area; this time though I was seen by a very sympathetic doctor who gave me an internal exam and confirmed that it was very likely a miscarriage due to the amount of blood lost. I was again sent home to wait it out. By Sunday evening at around 9pm I had been experiencing painful contractions for around 6-7hours; by the time I arrived back in A&E I was losing a huge amount of blood and could no longer stand. I was admitted and stayed in hospital until around 3am when the full miscarriage was confirmed and the pain had alleviated.

I returned at 9am for a final ultrasound to check that the miscarriage was complete; this time I waited for over an hour in a waiting area full of couples looking at their scan pictures. Again, I was very emotional - it wasn't until a nurse spotted how upset me and my partner were that I was taken in for the scan, where it was explained (very apologetically) that the reception staff had misplaced my notes so the nurses were not aware I was waiting.

Overall, I obviously found the entire experience extremely traumatic and looking back I feel that the care I received only compounded this. I understand that there is in reality little that can be done to prevent/halt a miscarriage but quicker, more sympathetic treatment would have made the whole situation more bearable. I was given very little information throughout about what to expect when I was sent home each time; I had no idea that I would experience contractions, how much bleeding to expect or what would happen when the foetus came out. Although some of the healthcare team I encountered were extremely sympathetic, I find it unacceptable that women going through something like this should have to wait two days for a scan (if you are unlucky enough to miscarry on a weekend - how inconvenient for the NHS! ) and should be treated in A&E in the same way as someone waiting to be seen for something much less traumatic (such as sprains etc). The way that miscarriages are dealt with - the speed of care, information provided and support - all needs to be drastically improved from my experience.

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Response from Kerry Hollingworth, Corporate Affairs Officer, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear littlemisswednesday, We are very sorry to hear of your sad news and poor experience of care at the Trust throughout this time. This has been shared with the Chief Nurse and a department lead and they would be grateful if you would contact our A&E Matron, Rose Davis on telephone 01709 424549 who would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your experience with you personally and investigate the improvements required to ensure this is not the experience of ladies in future.

With best wishes,


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