"My faith has been shattered by my miscarriage care"

About: Cambridgeshire PCT / Emergency GP out of hours service Hinchingbrooke Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I started bleeding at around 2am on a Saturday morning when I was 12 weeks pregnant. I called NHS Direct and they advised me to go to Hinchingbrooke hospital straight away to be checked over.

I arrived and was informed that I should just go home and call the hospital on Monday morning to see whether they could fit me in for a scan. (Apparently they don't do any scans over the weekend, even for very distraught pregnant women who believe they are miscarrying their baby.)

I spent the weekend in a state of confusion and was distressed with no support whatsoever. I contacted my midwife whose only advice was to 'sit, watch a film and eat popcorn'. (I don't know what planet these midwives are on).

Anyway, I spent a harrowing weekend before going in to Hinchingbrooke on Monday morning for a scan. The sonographer flashed the screen at me and I could have sworn I saw two fetal sacs, one with a healthy fetus inside and one completely empty. I'm not a medical professional so I trusted her when she told me that it was simply an 'unexplained bleed'.

Four days later I was due to go in for my 12 week scan but this time the sonographer told me that the bleeding was because I had miscarried a twin. I could not believe that the first sonographer had blatantly lied to me. I was told that the hospital have a policy of not telling women when this had happened so as not to upset them! But in my case, the loss of a twin was so obvious that the second sonographer felt compelled to inform me as to what had happened.

I think the treatment I received during my initial scan was disgusting, patronising and has completely shattered my trust in medical professionals. After the second scan I was sent home with no support, no advice and no information on how this would affect my surviving twin. I was told to simply 'concentrate on the one that survived'.

When I was sixteen weeks pregnant I started to bleed again. I called my midwife who after several hours of deliberation told me to go into A and E at Hinchingbrooke to get checked over. I was distraught as I feared I was now losing my remaining twin. I arrived, was left to wait several hours and then told that they don't do emergency scans on Wednesdays!

A nurse arrived and without even examining me told me that 'I was probably going to lose my other baby, as in her experience that's what usually happens.' The (male) doctor also had no clue how to deal with a distressed woman who was miscarrying her baby. He told me there was nothing he could do today and gave me a little pat on the leg before walking out. The next day I called up and was told that I would not be scanned at all, and that it was 'probably just the remains of the other one coming out.' I then had to wait for my 20 weeks scan to confirm that my daughter was still alive inside of me.

The treatment I received was unacceptable. There was nothing in place to support a woman going through such a traumatic experience. The staff seemed uncaring and the unavailability of the scanning team made an upsetting event into one that was completely horrendous. This happened in 2010 and I'm still not over it.

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