"Easier access to specialist services"

About: North Manchester General Hospital / Maternity Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Royal Oldham Hospital / Neonatal care

(as the patient),

I am 34 years old and as many couples before thinking about family I have done lots of travelling with my husband. When we finally decided we will finally try for a baby I was lucky and got pregnant very soon. Due to my age I've decided to have full screening and 12 weeks scan. there was no abnormality found and we were both excited. Within a few days screening midwife called saying my risk for Edwards Syndrome was high (1: 5)! I have been working as a nurse for 15 years and immediately knew something is not right. I was offered cus and amniocentesis. Very quickly I got referred to Dr. Siddiqui. PFU staff was extremely supportive and helpful. I had amniocentesis and 17 weeks- that confirmed Edwards syndrome. My baby girl had no heart chambers and had no chance of survival. I was given options and was never pushed or rushed into decision. Even that I live in Salford and work in NMGh I didn't want to deliver in planned hospital. PFU managed to schedule my labour induction ion ROH without any problems. My baby girl was born at 18 weeks- sleeping. As tragic that experience was I can't thank enough to labour ward in ROH.

I have received excellent bereavement services. Last time I've seen Dr, Siddiqui she advised me to wait for my first period and I can try again as seemed I'm ready. She stated she will be happy to take over my case and make sure I have extra scans to give me reassurance. I was very lucky again and I got pregnant again after my first period. I rang Dr. Siddoqui secretly and tried to arrange an appointment to see her. to my surprise she asked for referral, thinking it's just formality, my midwife (Natalie) was so kind and sent detailed referral.

Next thing I received booking appointment and 12 weeks scan appointment in ROH. My care was managed by Salford Community Midwives and I had booked 12 weeks scan in NMGH. I've planned to have my baby in NMGH as it's close to my house and I work there. So I rang secretary again to try and solve this misunderstanding but I didn't get anywhere, I could not cancel my appt in ROH so I have to call my midwife again to help. I was 9 weeks pregnant when suffering with severe hyperemesis and it took few hours of calls from me, my midwife and speaking with multiple people in antenatal clinic in ROH. I had appointments in NMGH and ROH but no appointment to see specialist. It became very confusing. I work for the NHS so I know things can get mixed up but my husband was very frustrated.

Eventually it all got sorted out and my care is in NMGH and I am seeing Dr Siddiqui in ROH for detailed scans. My impression was that unless you have bad results on hand you don't get too much attention. It would be so much easier if women who have been unlucky like me and had tragic experiences could have easy access to specialist services and have the opportunity to see specialist doctor without too much hassle. So far, everything had been well with my pregnancy, my baby is doing well and I'm having amniocentesis today. My constant worry will not go away. I will have peace of mind once my baby is out and kicking. It will be helpful if women who lost their baby can have easy access to specialist doctors as 9 months is a very long time and it is hard as it is.

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Responses

Response from Samantha Whelan, Patient Experience Midwife, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust - Women's and Children's

Thank you for taking the same to share your expereince. I am sorry to hear that you went through such a difficut time during your last pregnancy. Please accept our apologies and if any distress was caused when there was confusion over your appointments. It is good to hear that you are pleased with the care that you have recieved from our PFU team and Dr Siddiqui. I will share your comments with them. It would be easier if women could have quicker access to our PFU team and I know this is something that the Antenatal team are looking into at the moment. I will forward your story to the Antenatal manager Tracey Tomlinson. Congratulations for this pregnancy and I hope you are feeling well. If you wish to speak to me directly about any of your worries or concerns please email me directly at:

samantha.whelan@pat.nhs.uk

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