"first appointment with early pregnancy unit"

About: Newham General Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I am Asian background origin and I've been living in this country for 7 years. I know my English is not so good but I think I have no problem with communicating with people. I've been paying National Insurance and tax for 6 years and I never visited GP and doctors until I found I am pregnant. This time I thought is good opportunity to see how NHS is worth for paying compared to my country where everyone has to pay for giving birth in return for good service. What I found in my first appointment with Newham Hospital early pregnancy unit was very disappointing.

I was so embarrassed by Dr when I visited early pregnancy unit. The room was noisy and another staff was talking by phone. She asked me questions like "Are you taking Folic acid" etc and I answered but she talked with normal low voice and the room was noisy so I could not catch some question. So I asked back few times. I saw she was shaking her head every time I asked. Then she said " you cannot speak English". This embarrassed me so much. I did not say Yes. But If I had, what would she do? I guess she just wanted to embarrass me.

The reason I visited there was I had been bleeding for 12 days and I worried about miscarriage. At the end, she did not know the reason why I was bleeding. I had expected going home with excitement before I go to hospital. But actually I went home with embarrassment and worries.

In this country, there is very little option for pregnant women which I feel very sorry for. In my country, if I found my doctor is not satisfying, I can change to any hospital anytime for better doctors and better service. I mean ANYTIME. So there is always competition among hospitals which leads to better service, better facility and better doctors.

In my opinion, NHS is not working well and it is not worth for everyone, especially for middle class who work hard to pay National Insurance and have some savings but not enough to go to private hospital.

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