"Stressful Antenatal Appointment"

About: Royal Surrey County Hospital

Our first visit to Royal Surrey,baby's 20 week scan, recently moved to the area (12wk scan in Homerton hospital a very stress-free and pleasant experience). Didn't enjoy Surrey and having serious worries about giving birth here in a few months.

Hospital is so big and busy it seems that no-one really has time for you and we didn't feel like we were treated like humans. We had stress before getting to antenatal clinic. Firstly the car park, i only had a £20 so went to M&S inside main building to buy something just to get change - the person at the till refused to give me change for the carpark, saying it was their policy to not give carpark change?

They directed me to the car parking window - it was so noisy in the foyer i could hardly hear the car park attendant behind the glass screen, and they seemed to be speaking to their other 2 colleagues about something. I asked for parking change presenting my £20 and they asked me how much i wanted - i had no idea of the fees and there was no clear signage in front of me to indicate how much i might need for one hr.

The next stress was knowing where to actually go in such a huge place to find the antenatal clinic. there was one person manning reception on the phone and a queue of people and we were now tight for time to get to our appointment, so went to examine the large board listing department locations at the end of the foyer. Checked my letter with the scan appointment details on, said go to antenatal clinic. look for antenatal clinic - departments are listed in alphabetical order - so you'd think antenatal clinic would be at the top under 'a'?! Alas the list started at 'c'.

i was frantic, thankfully a kind passer by heard me asking and pointed me in the direction of Outpatients 1 - the location of the antenatal clinic.

It is beyond me why the hospital signage could not have been simpler, or that they could have at least put the fact that the antenatal clinic is located in Outpatients 1 in the letter confirming my appt.

So we get to the antenatal clinic and follow the arrow signposting "antenatal reception" which is to an office where there were 2 members of staff gossiping about their dogs. We and another couple had to wait to be seen until the dog chat had finished.

we were then bruskly instructed by the receptionist that we needed to log in first on the computer screens back outside and then come back to them- this could have been better signed or put in our appt letter. They said nothing about purchasing a photo. in our scan we then learn we should have prior arranged purchase of photo. my partner wants to video the scan, we are told, no as it is a medical examination - but if i am the patient and i give my consent then what is the problem? this is clearly an excuse made up so that people have to part with cash to get a photo of the scan and the hospital can make money.

In other antenatal clinics photos are less expensive or even free, a postcode lottery!

Ultrasonographer was thorough and kind.

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Response from Royal Surrey County Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and highlighting these issues to us. We are taking these issues up with the areas you have mentioned. Please could you email us at rsc-tr.communications@nhs.net so that we have your email address and can contact you if we have any further questions?

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