"12 week scan"

About: Basildon University Hospital

Not a very pleasant experience - confusing and frustrating. We were late to be seen and when we were called my husband was made to wait outside whilst I was weighed and asked about whether I've ever had a termination before - I appreciate that some couples have their secrets, but we don't and having been through IVF have been asked every intrusive question anyone can possibly think of, so we didn't appreciate this approach at all. We did not find the nurse very helpful, and felt that she could have given us a commentary on what she was doing, especially as the screen was deliberately angled so that I couldn't see anything. In the end my husband decided to commentate for me, which was brilliant, but he got told off by the nurse! She refused to tell us about the results of the Down's testing that is done via the scan and we then got some confusing instructions about when to go to the toilet, where to pay for photographs and where to go for the Down's blood test. We went back to reception who said my file wasn't ready and told us to sit down. Another five minutes later she called us, only for us to find that we were meant to put our £5 in coins into a machine up the corridor, so we had to go away to do that - the scan pictures were then scooped out of a pile and thrust at us and when I asked if I was being given the correct ones I got a sarcastic comment back, plus a date for the next scan which she appeared grumpy about due to a bank holiday issue. We then trooped downstairs to join a queue to ask for the Down's blood test... got seen quickly down there by a lovely nurse who discovered that the scan nurse hadn't recorded my weight or foetal heartbeat, so I had to wait while she phoned upstairs to get the heartbeat and I got re-weighed. She also disclosed that the scanning part of the Down's test looked good, which was a positive thing to hear. It was a surprise that on the blood test form my IVF dates were required - I couldn't remember them so it would have been helpful to have been warned about this before the appointment so that I could come armed with the right information. In all, I would say that a little bit of thought into what would be helpful to patients would be great, as I can see that some people have forgotten that whilst they know what they are doing, the patients don't know what they are doing but would like to! Having the blood tests upstairs would seem sensible to me.

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Response from Basildon University Hospital

We are sorry to hear that you are not happy with the care you received whilst using the maternity ultrasound department at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We are pleased that the nurses / midwives downstairs provided you with a more satisfactory service. Your comments have been shared with the departments concerned. Can we also encourage you to contact the Patient, Advice and Liaison Service on pals@btuh.nhs.uk or 01268 524900 ext 4441.

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