"poor miscarriage care "

About: Bedford Hospital South Wing / Gynaecology Bedford Hospital South Wing / Maternity care

(as the patient),

My husband & I found out we were expecting our first baby just a few weeks before our wedding. We were extremely excited & felt incredibly lucky to have fallen pregnant so quickly, and with such lovely timing (the best wedding gift ever! )

However, on the last full day of our honeymoon in Cyprus, it all started to go wrong, and a few short hours after touching down back in the UK, we suffered a miscarriage.

I have found the professional support, information & care aspect of miscarriage both disappointing & lacking in many areas. Simply finding out the best course of action when the pregnancy showed signs of failure was very difficult...a midwife who didn't answer her phone, a hospital without the resources to scan me during the night, having to ring my GP to request a scan as the hospital won't pay unless you're past 20 weeks, having to wait in a waiting room full of happily pregnant women for a scan which I was already convinced would tell me my baby had died, followed by a brutal scan with a consultant who explained nothing properly, made no eye contact with me, was extremely cold & lacked any empathy. It was a truly horrible experience made even worse by the lack of care and understanding.

Upon being discharged from hospital, I asked the nurse & consultant what to do about the appointment I had already made with my midwife, when I was happily & safely pregnant.  (This was the same midwife who didn't reply to any of my calls/distressed messages when the pregnancy began failing! ). The appointment was my 'booking' appointment, and was due last Friday, at my home. The hospital staff ensured me they would let all relevant people (my GP, midwife etc) know about the miscarriage & I wouldn't have to worry about any of that.

Lo & behold, on Friday morning I get a jolly phone call from the midwife asking if she can come slightly earlier to our arranged appointment at my house! ! I had to reply that I didn't think there was a lot of point to her coming & had to explain to her myself that I'd miscarried. No one had informed her like they were supposed to. I hung up from that call & sobbed & sobbed. It was not a position I should have been put in, and another appalling outcome of my treatment by my local NHS.

I am in the process of writing an official complaint, but writing this has helped me to process it all again. And inspired me even further to try and make sure other women don't have to experience the failings of the NHS like I have.

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Response from Joe O'Dell, Communications & Marketing Assistant, Communications & Marketing, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your baby, and of the issues surrounding your care before and after your miscarriage.

I have alerted our PALS team to the issue, and see that you mentioned you would write an official complaint, however if you have not done so, please can you contact PALS directly on the below details to start an investigation into the reason for the problems you've had during your time at Bedford.

You can contact PALS via email to PALS@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk, by calling the team on 01234 795814 or by writing a letter to;

PALS Team, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, Bedford, MK42 9DJ

Thank you for sharing your experience.

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