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I wrote to hospital complaining about my grim 20-wk scan...

(18 Posts)
bakedpotatohoho Mon 20-Dec-04 19:36:58

in September I posted the saga of my epic 20-wk scan when i was very badly handled by one sonographer.

she spotted one 'soft marker' for DS but couldn't see the heart clearly, so said i'd have to come back in a fortnight to be rescanned and pick up more information. we had a huge dingdong during which i'm ashamed to say i cried. she was extraordinarily rude and dismissive, told me it was impossible for me to be fitted in before then, and finally told me to go and wait in the public waiting area -- which was nice for the other pregnant people, and certainly lovely for me -- while she consulted a colleague. (I know what she said: i could hear her shouting through the door.)

solely because i kicked up a stink, i was taken over by a succession of other sonographers who spotted another 'soft marker'. we had an amnio very soon after and got an allclear.

anyway, MNers urged me to write a letter of complaint to the hospital's Chief Executive, which was very cathartic, and i just got a response. it's very thorough. they've revised the hospital protocol on rebooking scans, and the wicked, wicked sonographer is going to be monitored as part of her annual appraisal. now i know something good came out of that terrible week.

WideWebWitch Mon 20-Dec-04 19:49:07

Good for you. I'm glad something good came out of it. I'd have cried too, who wouldn't?

Gem13 Mon 20-Dec-04 19:54:44

Well done you! We complained too about a health professional's treatment and had a good outcome. I hate the whole 'sue them' mentality and although that wasn't mentioned in our case I think the fact that the Health Authorities are concerned about it makes them take notice when someone does complain.

I'm glad it's over and done with now. You must be due soon?

paolosgirl Mon 20-Dec-04 19:56:11

I remember your thread - it must have been awful for you . I suppose the one good thing that's come of this is that now she's had the fright of her life with the Chief Executive being made aware of what she did, and the fact that she's going to be monitored will hopefully mean she'll never, ever do something like this to anyone else. You just wonder what on earth posseses someone like this to a)go into the profession in the first place and b)think that it's an acceptable way to behave. Hope everything goes well for the rest of your pregnancy.

FrostyTheSurfMum Mon 20-Dec-04 20:40:06

I had a bad experience with a sonographer when I had my nuchal fold scan, and I ended up crying and being sent into the waiting room too. Worse than that was the night I spent on the post-natal ward. I had every intention of complaining as I didn't want any other new mum to go through what I went through, but I didn't get round to it and I'm really sorry now that I didn't, as the nurse concerned is probably still there and probably still surfing the internet while a new mum struggles.

So good on you for complaining, and I'm pleased that it was worthwhile.

cab Mon 20-Dec-04 20:56:15

Good result bakedpotato - remember your thread.
Just had my 20 week scan last week. The doc marched in, and proceeded to do the scan without a single word to me. She just about jumped out of her skin when I said, "And you are?". After that found I had to ask for any info like "You've been looking at the heart for a long time is there a problem?". Dh just about wet himself and reckoned I had let her off pretty lightly. Reckon all docs should go on a basic manners course before they're let loose on us poor patients. (She got her own back mind you - took 2 photos of dd's FEET and charged us £2!!)

Uwila Mon 20-Dec-04 21:05:39

Good for you. Whe I was pregnant with DD, we had the 20 week scan in Winchester. My second cousin had shortly before that had a baby who was born with only 2 fingers (one on each hand). So, I asked the sonographer to check for ten fingers, and she said "oh we don't normally do that because fingers aren't a major body part." I've forgotten what I said next, but we did go through and count five on each hand. I'm glad you stuck up for yourself.

wrapmefestively Mon 20-Dec-04 21:49:43

Excellent - good on you for following it through

Caligulights Mon 20-Dec-04 22:15:58

Well done. I'm always amazed by the obvious lack of training these people have.

I was scanned on a Thursday evening at 4.45pm at 22 and a half weeks, she casually told me that my risk of having a DS baby had been doubled, and as everyone else had gone home now as it was after 5pm by the time she'd finished, no, I couldn't discuss it with a specialist. Was amazed when I burst into tears. What is with the basic lack of common sense of these people, and what is with the basic lack of a training programme to deal with their lack of common sense?

Tinker Mon 20-Dec-04 22:18:26

Well done as well. Had one sonographer at dating scna who just didn't speak. Not rude but didn't say a word until I asked her questions.

Portree Tue 21-Dec-04 00:07:57

Good for your for complaining. I went with a friend when she had her nuchal at Queen Charlotte's. Sonographer grunted a greeting, no eye contact, nothing. Was obviously disinterested and bored. Lots of clock-watching. When she was measuring the nuchal fold she said '<sigh>well, that's the best I can do as the baby's moving so much'. I mean, hello, 1mm can make a huge difference you need to get it right love. Was so mad on behalf of my friend that I nearly punched her smug face when she said 'your risk is 1 in XXX but then again you could be that 1, couldn't you?'. This last comment was said as she was ushering us out the door. People like that should be pushing paper not dealing with people.

Now the lovely doctors at King's were wonderful. Doctors who seemed passionate about what they were doing.

wrapmefestively Tue 21-Dec-04 08:50:59

I am really surprised that there are such awful sonographers out there. Fortunately for me I have had only good experiences....

aloha Tue 21-Dec-04 09:22:11

Agree with Portree about Kings - I had three specialists look at my 20 week scan, and they wouldn't let me up until they had very specifically checked every single finger and toe (I mean that literally - we had to wait, very willingly, until dd opened her tiny fists). Had a separate paediatric heart specialist look at the heart etc.
I think every woman should have a service like this so well done BP for complaining. I would have cried too.

bakedpotatohoho Tue 21-Dec-04 11:24:34

ooh, i forgot to add that they also apologised for making me wait in the public area, when there's a sideroom earmarked for situations like mine.

also wanted to say that when i wrote the original letter to the chief executive i just cut, pasted and edited the thread that i'd started here. so i had a really accurate record of who had said what and when. it gave the impression that i'm an utterly organised, on-top-of-things person. sure that's one reason why the letter i got back was so detailed.

hooray for MN!

SnowmAngeliz Tue 21-Dec-04 11:28:55

I remember your scan bakedpotato and i'm SO glad that you did this.
You should be so proud of yourself that you've hopefully saved some other poor woman from enduring this awful sonographers attitude.

Hope she feels suitably ashamed!

alilujahcatsg Tue 21-Dec-04 12:00:55

Well done you.

I had a mare of a consultant who literally left me at 36 weeks sobbing on the floor, inconsolable because she said there was a chance ds was too small to live because of a cord abnormality and i had to have another scan but that she didn't have time to discuss it. The midwives did nothing to help either and I had to wait 24 hours for the repeat scan (at another hospital where they were wonderful). DH complained to the head of the hospital while I was in labour and she came in to tell me that I'd overreacted ..... I have never wished someone ill as much in my life as I did at that moment.

MariNativityPlay Tue 21-Dec-04 12:10:49

Good for you Bakedpotato. I am one of those luckier people who has been red-carpeted by sonographers and other hospital staff for her last pregnancy because of a previous stillbirth, and I know for a fact that no-one in my local hospital would have treated you like that, making you sit weeping in a public area. I was appalled when I read your thread about this and I am so glad she has been brought to book.
When a hospital is basically sound in practice I think they appreciate justified complaints and the time and courage it takes to make them.

tammylove Tue 21-Dec-04 13:51:38

Same here. when i went for 20 week scan with DS, the sono was awful. My sister had had my nephew born sleeping a yr previous with Potters. Its when there kidneys dont work or dont grow. In Olivers case he had none and of course the babies with this horrendous disease dont survive.

Anyway i was concerned and asked for her to check the kidneys. She rudely told me she couldnt see them or the 4 chambers of the heart and i must come back in 2 weeks when the baby has grown a bit. I was hysterical.

Went back 2 weeks later, this time the woman who scanned me was lovely. Everything was there and healthy. And told me i was having a little boy.

And i did he is a little monster. lol xx

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