"EPU support"

About: Southend Hospital

I attended A&E with a threatened miscarriage and waited over an hour to be seen. Once seen I was informed that I was being referred to the Early Pregnancy Unit as there was a trauma coming in and A&E couldn't do their normal checks. Upon arriving at EPU we were advised there were 2 people in front of us and then the doctor would do the blood tests. We arrived at 7.30pm. We saw a nurse at 8.30pm who went through our paperwork and said the doctor would be with us shortly. By 10pm we asked again and were told 30 minutes, by 11pm we asked again, were told an hour. We were finally examined by a doctor at 1.30am having sat in the hospital since 6pm. We appreciate that emergencies happen but we were given limited information, advised not to leave as we might develop sudden illness (sitting in waiting room for 7 hours and no sign of illness) and we weren't offered support at all. I can't fault the staff but I am certain that a nurse could take a blood test and at least that way one part of the check could have been undertaken. We were advised that the results of the blood test would take a further 2 hours so if we had waited around it would have been 3.30am before we got results back. Shocking service given the seriousness of miscarriage. Also the next day the nurse rang as we were expecting a scan to matter of factly announce that the blood count was low so they wouldn't test and 'I could spend my money on a test if I wanted to double check'. I am sure that is not how you tell someone they have lost their baby.

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Response from Southend Hospital

I am truly sorry to learn of your experiences, especially given the sad circumstances. This is not the level of service that we aspire to and your comments will be passed to the team involved with a view to them advising on how they think they can improve the service to stop anyone else having the same experience as you did. If you would like to add anything further then please contact me via pet@southend.nhs.uk and I would be happy to hear your thoughts. Please once again accept my apologies for your experience and if there is anything I can help with then please let me know. Steve McEwen Patient Experience Lead

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