"Second class citizen"

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital

My fiancée and I are due to have a baby. Throughout the term of our pregnancy, we have been treated with nothing but contempt. A refusal by 4 different GP practices to be seen, the first notice that was taken was at 24 weeks when my fiancée had to enter the A&E due to severe pains in her abdomen. We were very quickly seen a week later to have a scan. The whole pregnancy was such a disaster that we had to go private for our 20 week scan.

We had an NHS scan at 24 weeks. The doctor in the annexe spoke no more than 25 words to us the entire time.

Our midwife was fantastic. If we needed any help or queries, we contacted them. However on one instance, they were unavailable. We were seen by another midwife and before our appointment, we were told that we would be taken on a tour of the maternity ward so we would know where we were going. They refused and gave us a very quick examination before ushering us out the door. How considerate.

My fiancée has anaemia and was prescribed iron tablets. She finished her first course and we came back to get a prescription. We were told to give the name of our midwife as a point of contact. A community midwife also helped us and left a voicemail for us. The person who we saw at the clinic told us that there was no midwife by that name, the community midwife department did not exist and asked us to leave. My fiancée broke down in tears (not for the first time) and fled the building. We had to buy the iron pills over the Internet as my fiancée felt like she was not being taken seriously.

We had an appointment for setting a date for a Caesarian operation at 34 weeks. We arrived on time, but we were not seen for over an hour and a half, with very little explanation.

I have been very angry with the contempt shown to my fiancée. We feel that due to her being a foreign citizen that her healthcare is not as important to someone who is nationalised. This is totally unacceptable and smacks of discrimination.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Mr Skidmore,

I am so sorry to read that your wife has not experienced the high level of service that we would hope for her at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I can understand how distressing this must have been for both of you. Every patient should experience compassionate and safe care and it is unacceptable that your wife has not felt supported during this time.

We would like to understand more about your wife's specific experience, both to try and resolve this matter for you both going forward and to learn from your experience of our services.

If you and your wife would be happy to share more detail about her specific experience with us, please can you contact our dedicated Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01296 316042 or email pals@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk

Kind regards

The PALS Team