"How not to treat a pregnant woman!"

About: The Whittington Hospital

After being told by the NHS telephone service that I should go to Whittington’s A&E, I arrived there at 8.30pm and was fairly quickly seen by the nurse who then informed me that I will be “shortly” seen by the doctor. After 1 – 1.5 hours I politely asked reception what is the waiting time and received a snappy reply that I’ll just have to wait and see.

I then explained that I’m 16 weeks pregnant and that I’m having a lot of complications and feel utterly exhausted and weather it might be better for me to go home and come back tomorrow if I’m not an urgent case.

They then snapped back at me again suggesting I’m tired because I’m pregnant and made it sound as if I shouldn’t moan about it and went back to staring at their screen (forgot to mention it took me at least 5 minutes to get their attention in the first place even though I was standing right in front of them).

Anyhow, little does she know that I wake up every morning at 5.30am to travel to work 2 hrs back and forth and then do all the house chores and walk my dog and tend to my son.

So yes, by 22:00 I’m out cold and exhausted.

They then suggested the waiting time was 4 hrs so I asked them is it possible to find out, they told me to go back to the nurse and ask them.

I did as told and once again got a rude and snappy response that the waiting time is 2 hrs.

I decided to wait out those 2 hrs as I’ve already been there over 1.5hr.

I was seen 5 hours later at 1.30am at which point I was so tired I was not even able to say what was wrong with me.

The doctor on the other hand was great and they were quite thorough for which I thank them, because it seems in this country, if you’re not 5 months and over pregnant you’re judged and treated as if you’re plague.

I finally got home at 2.30am and went to sleep at 3am to wake up at 5am and go to work.

So, after this experience I will be going back to Royal Free A&E and avoiding Whittington as humanly possible.

Thank you once again to the very kind and understanding reception staff and nurse and sincerely hope they get the same treatment one day when attending an A&E unit while being pregnant.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from The Whittington Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are very sorry to hear this and have passed your comments onto our A&E department.

We'd like to discuss this with you in more detail and would appreciate it if you could get in touch with our patient advice and liaison service (PALS). They can be reached on 020 7288 5551 or whh-tr.whitthealthPALS@nhs.net

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful