"Miscarriage at Chelsea and Westminster"

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I went into chelsea and westminster hospital at 10 am in the morning with light brown spotting, pain and cramping at 8 weeks pregnant. I was examined initially by one excellent doctor who was thorough and precise. Unfortunately in my opinion he was the only decent doctor I saw. I asked for a scan immediately and was informed that only if necessary would I get a scan. I said I really really wanted to have one. He understood and told me to trust him and that he would always fight my corner but may not succeed, even with a threatened misscarriage.

It took two hours after having seen him to get my urine dipped to confirm a urinary tract infection and a threatened miscarriage. I was however told that my womb was closed at this point. I then had to wait a further 6 hours to see another doctor who did the exact same examination and wanted to admit me to a ward. I still at this point was given no medication for my Urinary Tract Infection which I have had confirmed by my private doctor that it can cause miscarriage. You can also look at any reference material on a UTI and it will state that it can cause miscarriage. All the doctors I saw in that hospital stated that a UTI could not cause miscarriage.

They wanted to admit me at 8 pm to have a scan in the morning. They could not do a scan that evening. For some bizarre reason they don't have a 24 hour scanning facility despite the fact that they have a large maternity ward and that ectopic pregnancies can be fatal if not detected. I wanted to go home. They persuaded me by saying that even though neither of them thought it was an ectopic pregnancy, if something happened to me that they would want to examine me and potentially rush me into theatre if i haemmoraged.

I stayed and was put on a ward with four women. Two eighty year old women who I believe were dying, and two others who must have had some form of gynacological problems. All of them snored, the nurses were loud and cackling telling jokes all night. I couldn't sleep was a nervous wreck and exhausted. Exactly the reason I wanted to stay at home... to sleep.

I miscarried at 5:30 that morning. I requested to see the doctor and informed the ward nurses that i believed i had miscarried. I was bleeding and in pain. I called for the doctor. The doctor refused to examine me and said I should just wait until 11 am in the morning when my scan was scheduled. I asked the doctor why on earth I had to stay on the ward, if they wouldn't even examine me to confirm that i was indeed miscarrying and if my womb had opened or if it was closed. The doctor seemed to have no interest. I was exasperated. I went down to A and E to see if I could find another doctor to examine me, but because I had already been admitted, i was refused.

At around 8 am a team of doctors arrived, one older with four doctors who were so young I thought they were students coming around to my bed and started asking questions. I told the senior doctor that I didn't want a bunch of students standing around my bed. (they all looked about 12 years old) He ignored the sensitivity of the situation which I found to be quite traumatic having just miscarried and not really wanting an entourage. The senior doctor merely said 'They're doctors, not students" and proceeded to ask quesstions. I was so upset, traumatised and shocked that I ended up feeling bullied into agreeding to talk to all of these strangers about how I had miscarried.

I then had to wait another 3 hours until the scan. There was only a sac with no fetal pole or heartbeat. I was told I would naturally miscarry, which i proceeded to do over the next several days.

They discharged me and forgot to give me my medication. I called up the hospital and asked for the medication. They said (this was at around 2 pm I left the hospital before midday) that they had not written up the discharge papers and I would have to wait for the doctor and they would contact me with my prescription. This never happened.

Later that afternoon i was rushed back to the Hospital - this time I choose Kingston not bearing the thought of going back to C + W. They were surprised by the choice of medicine prescribed because I didn't have a straight forward UTI as I was initially told, I had a kidney infection and was screaming in pain. I was initially at C+ W put on Cefelexin. They took me immediately off that and put me on Trimetheprim. Three days later having had enough of hospital and not getting any better, I called a private doctor. The doctor said both sets had got it wrong, that Cefelexin wasn't strong enough, and Trimetheprim had formed a well known resistance in the Wandsworth area. So she prescribed Augmentin. Less than 10 hours later I felt right as rain and then proceeded to recover.

The insensitivity, lack of care and what I feel is general ineptitude of the staff I saw in C+W make me never want to go back to a hospital and the entire experience is making me second guess ever wanting to be pregnant again. I believe 80% of the trauma of the miscarriage was actually caused by the hospital.

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