"Pregnancy ignored."

About: East Surrey Hospital

Friday, the 4th of September, I had to have an emergency visit to the hospital due to having had unusual palpitations for over 12 hours during my 16th week of pregnancy. My local GP has sent me with a hand written letter, that should have notified all the staff of the urgency and the situation itself.

Upon arriving at A&E (at 19:00), we were told to sit and wait with an e.t.a. described as "long". Upon entering the actual facilities not one member of staff was aware of my pregnancy, despite the letter's statement. And after pointing it out myself, it was just shrugged off as unimportant. Through out the whole night, the only attention I had was a blood test, and multiple BP measurements, and a constant reassurance that "I have to wait for the Dr".

Eventually, I was put in a ward, and have only been seen by a Doctor after 01:30 Saturday morning. I once again had to point out that I was pregnant, but the staff told me, that due to me arriving on a non-pregnancy related problem, they were not going to check the baby. Despite the GP letter stating that my sole purpose of visit was because of my pregnancy.

After the Dr's check, I was asked to stay the night until morning, when I could be discharged.

Come morning, approximately at 09:00, I had another Dr's check and told I could go home, and that I would be referred to a heart specialist, for a double check.

Not only was I kept waiting with constant BP checks, until 01:30 in the morning, but I am in absolute disgust that no one paid attention to the main concern brought up in the GP letter, and multiple times overnight by myself and my family. Not once has anyone offered or taken any interest in checking the baby's heartbeat or anything at all.

P.S. We originally arrived at A&E, were moved to Majors, then the trolley booths, eventually settling overnight in a ward.

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Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Ms Burgan

Thank you for your comments.

I am sorry that we did not identify that your pregnancy was causing you some anxiety, and to have heard the baby's heartbeat would have provided you with a great deal of reassurance. I will discuss you concerns with the Matron for ED so that we can ensure other pregnant patients are provided with the level of reassurance needed.

If you wish discuss further your experience you can contact me on this email nicola.shopland@sash.nhs.uk

Best wishes,

Nicola Shopland

Divisional Chief Nurse, Medicine

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