"Very jaded and unsympathetic staff in EPAU"

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

I was sent to EPAU by A&E. A Dr was sitting in reception and he simply ignored me. A number of staff walked by as they looked at me standing there. I was there for 5 minutes, not once did anyone say oh someone will be with you shortly or anything, including the Dr who was sat right in front of me! Someone eventually came and they asked me to give a sample to test for the pregnancy and asked me to wait in the waiting area. I was left waiting for five hours, heavily bleeding and in pain. No one came to say anything to me since handing in my sample. I have had an ectopic previously dealt with at a different hospital and due to that hospitals negligence, I was left bleeding internally, which meant I lost one of my tubes and almost lost my life due to the blood loss and ended up in ICU. I was very worried that this may be all happening again and not only that, seeing as I only have one tube remaining would be left infertile. After 4 hours I expressed this concern to the person at reception, she told me she would let the relevant person known. An hour later, I still had not been seen. It was at this point my partner went to complain. I guess he was more stern than I was, as 10 minutes later, just over 5 hours after arriving, I was seen. The Dr I saw was rude. She then examined me and told me that because my cervix is closed, she thinks everything is OK and is happy to send me home. I wasn't happy with this; she then said she will let me get a scan, as I am high risk for an ectopic, but that I'd probably have to come back the next day to do it. Luckily I had it the same day. The person doing the scan was the most horrible person I've ever come across. She was so miserable and abrupt. She told me I wasn't in any pain without asking and went on to tell me that I was probably having a miscarriage and that they would do bloods to confirm. There was no sympathy or explanation. She could have just as much been telling me, “oh the bathroom is that way”. That's how blasé she was. When I asked for her to explain to me was happening, you would have thought I had sworn at her the way she reacted. She clearly wanted me in and out as quickly as possible and wanted the least amount of interaction as possible. I left feeling distraught and confused. I was still none the wiser as to what was going on. I had been told differing things, nothing had been explained and I was still in pain and not been offered pain relief. My 2nd blood test wasn't labelled by the nurse, so I had to go in to do it again! This meant more parking to pay for, more time wasted and even more anxiety waiting to see if I was miscarrying or not. When I came in to redo the test, I was told I had to go to the main phlebotomy clinic, which takes hours to be seen! The same scanning nurse called with the results. She simply said your blood test confirms you're miscarrying, I will book you in for another scan to confirm it completed, bye. That was the whole conversation! No compassion at all.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen's Hospital

Thank you for your comment on NHS Choices. I was deeply concerned when your account of our maternity services. Most of what you say sounds totally unacceptable. Our staff should always be kind, considerate, caring and compassionate. It sounds like you have been badly let down and I am really sorry for that. I am concerned that our staff were rude to you and that you had such a negative experience communicating with multiple members of our staff. I really want to investigate this for you urgently. In order to do so I will need more information. Please contact me via our PALS team on 01708 435 454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk and I will investigate. Yours sincerely, Flo Panel-Coates Chief Nurse

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