"Early Pregnancy Unit"

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

Visited twice - first in mid November with heavy bleeding. Consultant was more concerned with the viability of the fetus and not the reasons why I was bleeding or how I was feeling. Visited a second time for a follow up appointment in early December. Was treated as though I had a communicable disease due to recently returning from Sierra Leone (without any symptoms). Made to sit in a separate room without explanation. Everyone at the clinic knew where I had traveled even though I had not consented to anyone sharing that information. Forced to see a virologist following diagnosis of a miscarriage and before I could see a gynecologist who could discuss my treatment and care. Not offered any counsel ling or support to deal with the grief of recurrent miscarriages or anything above rescheduling me for a scan to ensure all 'products of pregnancy' were removed. Really disappointing experience at a rather stressful time. Did not feel respected or listened to and that confidential information was shared without my consent. To be clear, I was not at risk of having Ebola and was not having any symptoms and was at the hospital for a scheduled pregnancy appointment.

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Response from St Thomas' Hospital

We are sorry that you had such a distressing experience the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecology Unit (EPAGU). From the information you have provided, we think we are able to identify you and the occasion you visited EPAGU. Due to the seriousness of the Ebola infection, our Trust protocol requires us to ask screening questions to all patients attending clinic appointments or ward admissions. This ensures that every memeber of staff and patient can take appropriate precautions if any patient has symptoms that could cause risk to others. We hope this explains why the following questions are being asked in many countries during this distressing Ebola virus outbreak: "Have you visited one of the outbreak countries ( Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) or been in contact with a possible case within 21 days? Elective/non - urgent admissions will be postponed 21 days if a patient has visited an outbreak country. A virologist would be contacted if admission or appointment is urgent. " If you would like to be contacted by the EPAGU Manager or Matron to discuss this matter further, please telephone PALS (patient advice and liaison service) on 020 7188 8801 or 020 7188 8803. Alternatively you could email pals@gstt.nhs.uk. PALS aim to respond to all voicemail messages and emails within 24 hours.

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