"The interaction was unsympathetic and 'jobsworth'"

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I attended the Early Pregnancy Unit this week as I was 7 weeks pregnant and had started bleeding. Sadly, a scan confirmed I had had a miscarriage. The sonographer and nurses were very sympathetic and professional, but I was disappointed in the EPU's handling of my ongoing care. Having confirmed the pregnancy was over, I didn't want to spend any more time on the maternity unit than necessary, as it was a sad place to be when not pregnant. I also didn't want to take any more time off work than necessary, as I didn't want to tell them I had been pregnant. Every visit to hospital involves arranging time off work, a 30 min drive each way, paying for parking etc. EPU told me I needed to come back 48 hours later for a repeat blood test. When I said this was difficult due to work, but I could come the following day, the nurse was disapproving and wrote on my notes that I was 'going against medical advice'. She did admit to me that it wouldn't matter at all that the test was 24 hours later, as it was only done to confirm my pregnancy hormone level had dropped. I came back for the repeat blood test, and when I called for the results, I was told the level had dropped, but I needed to come back for another test until the hormone was completely gone. I queried this again, and was put through to someone else, who repeated the line about 'going against medical advice', but eventually suggested that I could do a home pregnancy test a week later, and telephone with the result to confirm it was negative so they could discharge me. I felt that the interaction was unsympathetic and 'jobsworth', they were so preoccupied with completing their paperwork that they forgot there was a person behind it all, and a person who had just been through a very sad event. Their tone in both conversations was bossy and officious, and critical of me questioning the usefulness of what they were asking for. I think they could try harder to be accommodating - and a home pregnancy test costs me £1 and costs them 5 minutes to take the phone call, rather than wasting NHS funds on lab work and a nurse's time to take blood. Easier all round!

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Response from University Hospitals of North Midlands

Dear "RoyalStokeEPUFeedback"

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback about your experience of University Hospitals of North Midlands.

If you would like to contact our PALS Team (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) so that they can investigate the issues that you have raised further. The PALS Team can be contacted on 01782 676450 or 01782 676455 or by emailing patient.advice@uhns.nhs.uk.

Thank you and best wishes