Lack of cleanliness in QEQM obstetrics out-patients department

I was very concerned about the general lack of cleanliness and tidyness in the obstetrics out-patients department at QEQM when I recently attended an appointment on in mid February 2013. There was dust, dirt and debris everywhere. Furniture was very badly arranged with seemingly no thought given to the users of the space. For example many of the patients attending the department were heavily pregnant and had young children or babies in pushchairs with them. It was very awkward to get these pushchairs in and out of consultancy rooms because the entrances were blocked by furniture. The toys in the waiting room area were also all broken or incomplete in some way and did not look as if they had been cleaned in a very long time. The whole department felt dirty, uncared for and unhygienic. The experience of visiting it made me feel anxious and uneasy about returning to QEQM to have my baby when the time comes in the next couple of week. The members of staff, who wore white tops and black trousers as a uniform (were they health care assistants? ), also seemed to look particularly sloppy and unkempt.

Miss M

My miscarriage experience at Queen’s Hospital, Romford

I started to bleed at over 12 weeks pregnant. I had had fertility treatment (privately). I went to Queens who made me wait in an abandoned office room for over 5 hours before I was seen. The Doctor said all was fine after a very brief examination. I was not allowed a scan even though I asked for one many many times. I had to call King George in Seven Kings to try and get a scan (the two hospitals are aparently linked) and was told I could have one in March. Over a month later. I was allowed to come that afternoon to sit and wait for a scan – but only after begging and crying on the phone. I was sent back to Queens after being told unceremoniously the ‘product is dead’. At Queens I encountered the most unsympathetic, unhelpful people I felt I have ever met in my life.

They constantly referred to my baby as ‘the product’, and I feel they tried to bully me into having the baby removed surgically. I didn’t and in the end I had no idea what was going to happen to me. I didn’t get any emotional care, no advice on what would happen physically, and no advice as to who I should contact if I had any questions. They didn’t even give me a leaflet.

That night I had full on contractions and the baby came. I went to the hospital the next day as I was in so much pain I could hardly walk. The staff member yelled my name and walked away so quickly that I couldn’t follow. I felt I was obviously a massive inconvenience to them all. The whole experience had been so unbelievably awful that we went away to Portsmouth for the weekend. When I got there I realised I was really ill. (I have type 1 diabetes) My blood sugars were so high they wouldn’t register which is a typical sign of infection. I went to the A&E there (Queen Alexandra – I would recommend it to anyone) and the staff were absolutely lovely. The first thing they did was to give me a leaflet from the miscarriage association and tell me what was happening to my body.

They diagnosed me with a serious infection of my uterus (which could have left me infertile had it not been treated). I was admitted and had IV antibiotics and then 4 weeks of oral antibiotics, such was the seriousness of the infection.

I DID write to Queens hospital and had a letter of apology and telling me all the things they had put in place to change what had happened to me.

More recently I had another miscarriage at 7 weeks pregnant and once again went to Queens, reassured that their practice had improved significantly.

Absolutely nothing had changed in my opinion. I thought the treatment was again awful, there was still no information given to me and I still don’t feel as if my emotional needs were even considered.

I am very lucky in that I have my very supportive partner, family and friends and have medical experience as I trained as a nurse but if I hadn’t I can’t even bear to think about how I would have coped.

Extremely Unhappy

Treatment following two miscarriages

I have sadly suffered two Missed Miscarriages. I cannot fault the staff in the EPAC (Early pregnancy assessment clinic) at Nottingham’s QMC, they were all excellent.

However, I cannot say the same when returning to the QMC for ERPCs (Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception) which I had on both occasions.

The first time, I went to the ward at 7am in the morning. I was distressed and scared and left to sit in a waiting room with people waiting for different procedures. I was thankfully given a sedative and a bed after awhile but was told that I was only on the emergency list so just had to wait until a slot became available. I eventually went to theatre at around 3pm and by this time I was in a great deal of distress. At no point did anyone come to talk to me about how I was feeling and my fears. When I got to theatre there was an argument between two anaesthetists, and two other staff were laughing and joking about something. Everyone ignored me while I cried. I couldn’t breathe very well, so they just shoved the mask over my face and put me to sleep. Later, I returned back to the same ward where as I recovered, a family with 2 small children made lots of noise. The children broke some toys and were crying a lot, eventually my husband said something to them as he was getting cross but they carried on. I eventually went home at 7pm at night – the broken toys left outside the ward door. I was offered no advice, counseling or follow-up.

I went to see my GP about 2 weeks later. He didn’t even know I’d had the miscarriage and I had to explain every thing to him. Surely, within the NHS, people talk to each other? I was offered no advice and told to go home, look on the internet for some support and try again.

3 months later, I fell pregnant again. I rang the doctor who said he didn’t need to see me. Then at 6 weeks, I stopped ‘feeling’ pregnant and had some bleeding – I called my GP again to express my concern. I knew something was wrong. I was told not to worry and they would only scan me 2 weeks later. So two weeks later, I went for the scan and was once again told my baby had died – at 6 weeks as I suspected. I then had to wait another week for them to confirm this. This was horrible. After this I had yet another scan and once again waited in that horrible room to be given my options. I had to wait another 4 days before the ERPC.

On the day of the ERPC, we went to the hospital at 7.30am as requested, it was a Saturday. This time I had a room to myself on the gynae ward – much better. But no one came for ages. Time went on and on and I had no idea when I would go to theatre. I hadn’t eaten and at around 2pm was put on a drip. Still nothing happened and no one knew when I was going in – I was on the emergency list again. At 7.30pm, my husband went out to telephone my parents. While he was out I was whisked away to theatre. No warning and no peccary to soften my cervix. I was frightened and hadn’t said goodbye to my husband.

At the theatre, there was a further delay while they discussed me not having the peccary and then I went in. Once again, I cried a lot but this time the staff were much nicer and asked me what had happened. One of the men held my hand and reassured me.

When I came round in recovery, I heard the nurses talking about my ‘abortion’. Surely, I must have misheard this? When I returned to the ward and my husband it was very late, we cried and I told him about the nurses’ comments. We agreed I must have misheard.

At this point, I assumed that I would be able to eat something and go home. Again, no one came. Eventually my husband went to find out and I was told that I’d have to stay in. This was awful; I needed to be home with my husband and was un-prepared for this. Eventually I was given a piece of toast to eat and I went to bed crying.

My husband arrived at 8.30am the next morning to collect me but no-one came to see me until around 11am – so more waiting and waiting. Eventually I went without waiting for my notes. This time I was given a leaflet about the Miscarriage Association – this was comforting.

I saw my GP again. Once again, he said – go away, try again, look on the internet for support. I have now changed my GP and am arranging some counselling.

I am frightened now – I never want to go the QMC again.

Barbiegirl5

Better treatment for pregnant women needed

I found the antenatal care at RBH really awful. I was contacted by phone to attend an appointment with the consultant regarding test results. Thinking it was important given that it was for the same week they phoned me, I made sure I was there on time. They kept me waiting for 2 hours before I was even called in. At 37 weeks pregnant, I found this very uncomfortable making both mine and my partner’s patience wear thin. When we were finally called in, we felt the midwife was very abrupt and the antenatal checks were not what I would call up to standard. We were then left in the room for a further 20 minutes.

The consultant finally turned up and did not seem to know the reason for us being there (I had to remind the consultant) and in response to our complaint of the wait, we were then advised to go to a different hospital. That I can assure you we will be doing.

As for the scan department, if you want pictures make sure you take coins. If you go with a note and need change, the only place to get change is back at the entrance.

As a whole, in my opinion I felt they treated me, as a pregnant woman terribly.

definately not happy

Horrible experience

Yesterday I admitted in a&e newham beacause of bleeding and lower abdominal pain while I am 7 weeks pregnant. Doc did my blood test and urine test than they came to me and said it is misscarriage keep changing your pad. They didn’t ask for scan nor did vaginal or cervix checkup not even hormone check. They didn’t even tell us what to do. They said I am not going to do anything with you. You are free to go home. You can go now. It was like they had se authority and we are silly foolish people who are begging for treatment. We are paying texes for all this and we were treated like animals.

Next day I booked myself for scan and doctor said my baby is 100%okay I heard his heart beat and they did all other scan and refer me back to my GP.

Anonymous

complaint

Communication is terrible During my time of being pregnant I have had nothing but problems and the nhs haven’t helped. I have had to chase up on more than one occasion my scan appointments and its not good when the scans are for the safety of my unborn child. I had to change my midwife after going through the doctors who told me I cant change my midwife even though I had a very good reason to then I had to contact the hospital and contact the head of midwives who was very pleasant and dealt with the situation. Still communication is terrible and I hope that the rest of my pregnancy goes better. If i ever get pregnant again I will looking at going to a different hospital.

Donna

Great customer care at the antenatal clinic.

I am 4 months pregnant and I have already had my first scan at St Thomas’. The person who performed the scan was absolutely brilliant, they made the experience one of the best ones ever.

I spoke several times to a member of staff regarding my midwife appointment who was not helpful whatsoever. Eventually I got through to someone who promised that someone would call me back asap. Five minutes I received a call and the person was able to resolve my issue in approximately 5m. Great customer service!

CCE

Parking eye

I am currently pregnant for the 5th time with my last 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage. I have been classed as high risk and have been visiting the hospital nearly every week for the last 12 weeks. I was rushed to the hospital on the 14th August with suspected pre eclampsia as my blood pressure was extremely high. I purchased what I thought was 3 hours of time. I have just received a parking charge notice saying that I had been in the car park for less than 3 hours. I do not have the receipt but I always purchase more time than I believe I will be there. I attended on the 21st August knowing that I would be in around an hour but still purchased 2 hours I was only there 50 minutes. I have tried speaking to parking eye who basically won’t give me the time of day. I am going through a very stressful time and do not need the extra tension of this. I think that a ticket barrier system that you pay for the exact time would be a lot better as without having to display the ticket in the windscreen you have no visibility when you get back in the car as to when the time expired. As I said this was an extremely stressful time and I’m am 99% sure that I purchased 3 hours as I only have £1 coins in my purse and am sure I paid £4 although I have no way of proving this.

Anonymous

Excellent unit, great level of care

I’ve just been discharged after an overnight stay at the women’s health unit for an operation on a bartholins cyst. The staff were amazing, my two nurses were warm, friendly and always on hand if I needed anything, even though the ward was extremely busy. The consultant and anaesthetist were fab and kept me informed at every step, explaining what they were doing and why. I was slightly nervous about the op as I’m 26 weeks pregnant but they took great care to ensure the safety of my baby. I haven’t a clue why Tameside has such a bad rep. This was my second stay there and both times have been excellent in terms of the level of care and treatment that I’ve received.

Anonymous

Poor antenatal midwife care

I was seen by community midwives ego failed to alert me to the fact that my baby would be large despite my constant asking (I was massive when pregnant and gained a lot of weight). I was told that I was being silly and that my baby measured small to average. Nonetheless when I was 41 weeks pregnant another midwife saw me instead of my usual “experienced” community midwife and they recommended that I have a growth scan. On having the growth scan a week after due date I was told the baby was estimated to be 10lb by the sonographer. There was no follow up consultation as I was booked for induction 4 days later( 41+4). On arriving for my induction the baby’s size was barely mentioned the induction process began and I went home to wait for signs of labour. A few hours later they began and I was readmitted. After contracting for over 30 hours and only dilating 3cm I was told by consultants that evening that they would be breaking my waters the next morning as they wanted me to try and get some rest first. During the consultation they referred to the baby’s size for the first time and asked whether I was aware of any risks involved with having a large baby especially as I suffer from anaemia. My husband and I looked at each other confused. The doctor then told us that we would need a consultant present at the birth in case of severe blood loss and also due to baby’s size I would likely tear and had a very high chance of the baby having shoulder distosia (not sure of spelling) meaning he could deprived of oxygen during labour and could suffer a disability or even worse not make it safely into the world. This was undoubtedly the scariest moment of my life I felt so let down by my so called experienced midwife as I felt completely unprepared for this. The consultant assured me that in some cases shoulder distosia doesn’t occur but nonetheless they recommended an emergency cesarean section to avoid the risks involved. However staff stressed that I should have been alerted to baby’s size and the risks involved from much earlier in the pregnancy & that I was failed by my midwife and the staff who performed the induction. Luckily the next morning my son arrived safely following the operation. However I contracted an infection and was on antibiotics for over a month post delivery. I was sent home just 48 hours after the operation only to be readmitted a few days later. I refused another readmission a week after that. What should have been an amazing precious time with my first born was traumatic and very upsetting for all involved.

Louisa