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"A mess-will not be considering St Thomas' for..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital / Maternity care

My experience with the hospital was short, as unfortunately my 9 weeks pregnancy ended in miscarriage this week, but there is nothing positive to say about this short experience. The hospital is staffed with incompetent people who couldn’t care less about patients. I was bleeding, called the emergency department, and the receptionist said they would get someone to call me to advise what to do, however didn’t do so for 3 hours. After being chased, they simply told me everyone was too busy and still didn’t arrange the call for another 2 hours. Only once my very angry husband called after waiting about 5 hours they finally managed to connect me to someone immediately, who said they had actually not been busy at all but had never received the urgent message; that person though also was so defensive (even though I didn’t say a word to blame her for the delay in responding to my emergency) that they didn’t care much about giving me any useful advice either. When I eventually came to hospital for assessment, the receptionist didn’t bother to greet us and had very unpleasant face. I had a scan which was OK, but the person doing it was quite rough and completely ignored when I said I was in pain. They then sent me home without giving me a reason why I was bleeding nor any instructions on how to behave or what to expect, giving me an impression the bleeding was nothing to worry about.

When a week later I was going through a miscarriage, I called the maternity department to ask if I had to come to hospital, they kept putting me through to various departments where no one answered. When someone finally answered, they told me I had to go to the hospital, 7th floor. I came all the way just to find out that 7th floor didn’t deal with early pregnancy and they didn’t know who did. They told me to go to A&E, which I did; I waited patiently while very slow staff where completing some clearly unnecessary paperwork- the information which I had already provided in hospital multiple times- with a grin on their faces while I was in tears. I eventually got to see a general nurse, who didn’t know much about a miscarriage and told me A&E was not the right place- I should have gone to maternity unit, but that was closed for the day, therefore I was sent back home. Being sent in circles was the last thing I needed while going through a miscarriage.

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Response from St Thomas' Hospital

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us on what was clearly a very distressing experience for you. We are so sorry to hear that your call wasn't returned by the emergency department and when you came into the department the scan was quite rough and the member of staff did not listen to you when you were in pain. It is concerning to read that your were not given any information of advice and again had a poor experience of care when you were experiencing the miscarriage. We would like to apologise for this and the further distress this caused during this difficult time. We will share you feedback with the teams involved so that we can learn from this.

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