"Lack of empathy over miscarriage"

About: Broomfield Hospital Broomfield Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I found out I was spotting 7 weeks 4 days into my pregnancy. I went to A&E where I was seen and sent to Early Pregnancy Unit for a scan. Waited about 45 mins and had the scan. Sonographer was not very reassuring very quiet and you could tell there was something wrong. After scan, she said all is well can see heartbeat just concerned about the baby's size. Nurse advised me to go home and and keep rest and gave me appointment in 2 weeks. They said all was well.

Next day bleeding stopped. I was happy again but 2 days later it returned full force. I decided to wait and watch. Day 3 all day bleeding was steady, then day 4 came with cramps and back ache. I decided to call the unit and tell them they advised I call my GP for a referral in. I went in at night around 8 pm and was seen by an on call gynae. He did a physical check and said cervix is closed he was not concerned, said I was not bleeding a lot, that some bleeding is normal. He could not do a scan as there was no one that could do it then, so booked appointment for following thursday for scan. I was worried but he managed to reassure me all was well.

So I went home a little better but the bleeding only got worse. Tuesday morning on my birthday I woke up with severe cramps and back ache. I was certain something had happened and was anxious to be seen so they could at least advise me how to avoid traumatic experiences of dropping the baby while alone at home. I called the EPU and by this time I go the impression the nurses had had enough of my calls. They told me to stay in bed till Thursday which was the only day they would do a scan for me. I cried and explained I was in serious pain and bleeding was worse. The nurses were unsympathetic and quoted NICE guidelines that you have to be bleeding and filling a pad every hour to come in as emergency. Any hope of empathy from these nurses was lost. I had to call Maternity services manager through reception to ask for a slot to be seen. She was nice but maintained that in the whole hospital there was only one scanning machine and they were fully booked and could not do anything for me without a scan so had to relax at home till Thursday. I cried more than I knew I could ever cry but it was to no avail.

My GP then said they would try and make an emergency referral for me but the nurse on the unit once again told the GP that they could not help me as they had no appointments and that they had already told me this. Long story short I finally went to the unit and was made to wait from 12: 30 till 4: 30. No one spoke to me in this time. I just waited. Then when I was seen, I was told no scan could be offered. They felt I was ok should go home and rest and not stress.

Another doctor was called after I refused to leave. She then decided to do the scan for me and lo and behold my womb was clear, no sac, no baby. During my wait in the reception, I had passed the baby but was not taken seriously because my blood was not as much as NICE guidelines recommends for emergency. Definite review of practice guidelines needed there. I am just glad it's over but would not wish this kind of experience even for my worst enemy.

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Response from Jonathan Wright, Patient Experience & Voluntary Services Manager, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

picture of Jonathan Wright

Thank you for sharing your recent experiences with us. The experiences you have had have understandably been very upsetting for you. We are very sorry for your loss. Can you please contact me via the details below so that we can help you further.

Jonathan Wright

Patient Experience & Voluntary Services Manager


01245 514577

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