"Waste of time"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

I went to Cramlington hospital on the 12/4/16 suffering pains in my stomach and pressure in my stomach. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and have suffered from 3 previous miscarriages, I got told by my GP and maternity department to go to hospital to get checked over. After being there for 30 minutes I seen I nurse and I said what was wrong which was fine, the nurse was friendly and listened. Then after waiting 3 hours I was seen by a doctor. I did not feel comfortable and I think the doctor realised I was nervous to speak to them. In cases like this I think seeing a female would of been better in my interest but I would of had to wait longer. I was taken to a room and got left for 30 minutes and the doctor came back with a urine sample pot and asked me to do a sample which was fine. Another nurse came to collect it and said they wouldn't be long. 20 minutes later they came back and said there was sign of no infection and I'd have to just go see my midwife barring in mind this was 6oclock at night at this point. I was so embarrased and I felt like I'd wasted my time. I didn't get offered a scan or any type of review. I was basically palmed off with sitting around for hours and waiting to be told they couldn't do anything for me. For this being a new hospital the service is terrible. I'd rather have just waited to see my midwife than gone and wasted my time sitting round for them to not seem bothered and not take into consideration the pain I was in. Absolutely shocking!!!!!

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Madam,

Firstly can I say how deeply sorry I am to hear about your previous miscarriages. I know how painful this is and I can completely understand why you would want urgent reassurance about the wellbeing of your baby. I am really sorry that you felt palmed off by the staff you saw.

Following advice from your GP, the maternity team and your instincts as an expectant mother- I can understand why you felt the need to visit us. It’s disheartening to hear how let down you felt by our service and that you would have expected us to do a lot more for you at the time other than establish there was no infection present.

I would like the opportunity to look further into what happened. Please email me with your details at Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk and I’ll look into this to get a full picture of what happened and provide some explanations for you.

I am sorry that you experienced a long wait for care. This year has been one of our busiest yet with an influx of patients using our Emergency Care Services. In total, we’ve seen over 43,000 urgent and emergency care patients during the first half of 2016. That's 9000 more than at the same time last year, with numbers ever increasing.

Our staff are working incredibly hard and doing everything they can to ensure patients receive good care and are treated as soon as possible.

As a Trust we need to continue to work with our health and social care partners together with the public to ensure NHS services are used appropriately. This will protect urgent and emergency care free for those who need it most.

The Northumbria is intended for serious emergencies only, our local urgent care centres are open 24/7 - if people try to access these services for minor ailments such as sore throats, small cuts, or for on going medical problems which are best looked after in primary care via their GP, then the service will continue to be overwhelmed, taking valuable staff time away from very poorly people. That's not what we want.

This is our first year with a new model of emergency care and we are continuing to learn about the best way to embed changes in what has been a fairly radical change for the NHS. We need to continue to do all we are doing to listen to patient feedback. I would be more than happy to discuss with you everything that is going on to improve care. Please email me and I will be in touch.

I hope you managed to speak to your midwife or GP regarding the pains you had been suffering and that things are a little easier now? If you have any difficulty contacting a midwife please let me know and I can ask a member of the maternity team to give you a call.

Please be assured that if you feel you need emergency care in the future our staff are on-hand at The Northumbria hospital should you need us.

Wishing you all the very best for a safe and happy pregnancy,


Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience