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Mumsnetters in Sevenoaks district with experience of miscarriage care in local NHS settings - can we have your input?

(30 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Jan-13 11:18:25

Following on from the Mumsnet Miscarriage Care Campaign, Members of the Sevenoaks District Council Social Affairs Select Committee have visited Pembury and Darent Valley. They will be reporting back to the Social Affairs Select Committee on the evening of January 22.

They would like also to report back on the experiences of local people, so they've asked us to ask you about your experiences of maternity services in the area, for example, the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury Tunbridge Wells or the Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford. How do local hospitals do when it comes to miscarriage care?

They're interested in hearing about all experiences. (As ever, if you'd rather not share details of your experience with all and sundry on the internet, you're welcome to mail us on and put 'FAO Campaigns Team' in the subject line.)

So do please add your experiences or comments here, or via email if you'd prefer. MN will be meeting the The Chair and Vice Chair of the Select Committee again before their meeting on 22nd January to feed back your responses.


Bonsoir Tue 08-Jan-13 13:08:54

How far back do you want to go? Which year?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Jan-13 14:49:46

Hi Bonsoir; I think experiences within the last two to three years would be most relevant, although anything MNers want to share that predates that would also be interesting (it would be helpful if you could include a rough time period, but obviously we understand that people won't want to give too much detail)

Bonsoir Tue 08-Jan-13 17:48:38

Fair enough. I gave birth at Pembury in 2004 and I thought I received absolutely fabulous care that was entirely tailored to my needs. However, many women around me (antenatal and postnatal groups) were very discontented with the care they received (same teams, same midwives, same sonographers, same psychotherapists, same health visitors etc). I was shocked at how demanding they were. Was that a reflection on the type of person that lives in that part of the country (lots of well-off people where there is very little available in the way of private maternity care)? Sure it wasn't Harrods Food Hall but it wasn't Aldi either IYSWIM.

But of course I am not talking specifically about miscarriage care - just my thoughts about the expectations of the population towards NHS maternity services (which in theory delivers the same service across the country) in an area where people's standard of living is particularly high.

Chislemum Tue 08-Jan-13 17:58:09

Is experience from the PRUH in Orpington (2009) of interest? It is surrounding area to Sevenoaks i - or is this too far away?

Taffeta Tue 08-Jan-13 19:58:51

Excellent that this is happening. I will mention to my friends, see if they will post. I had 2 MMCs, one in London QEH Woolwich and one at Darent Valley Hospital. The one at DVH was in 2005 and I was put on a labour ward. I was kept waiting so long for ERPC that I went home and had to come back in the next day.

booface Tue 08-Jan-13 20:25:54

I had a mc at Pembury hospital about 10 years ago. So may not be very relevant as a long time ago. But it seems worth mentioning that a lack of an ultrasound technician at the weekend made me a candidate for a laparoscopy as they feared I had an ectopic pregnancy but couldn't easily tell. I very nearly had unneeded invasive surgery due to lack of cover at the weekend. Other than that, care was no too bad, and I am sure not that the hospital has competely been rebuilt the facilities would be much improved.

AnnieMated Tue 08-Jan-13 20:51:48

Two miscarriages and two healthy babies - each miscarriage came before each birth and I have only positive things to say about the care I received at Pembury for all four scenarios. All this though was before it was rebuilt, so impossible to say if standards have changed since then. The buildings and wards might have been tatty but the staff were fantastic, I was attended to immediately after each; the first was a mmc meaning a D&C at about 7 weeks, the second miscarriage further on when no heartbeat discovered. Prompt scans given and the right treatment swiftly carried out. The ONLY thing I would say is there was a distinct lack of information or support afterwards, ie no reason or investigation given for why the miscarriages had happened (although obviously two isn't massively uncommon) or any sort of counselling offered. No idea if the NHS even offers such a service nationwide. Would I have needed or wanted it? Not sure, but I was hugely distressed and it may have helped in the weeks immediately following.

Solo Wed 09-Jan-13 00:51:34

I had a miscarriage and was seen/treated at Darent Valley back in 2005. I had an horrendous experience there.
I will try to recount it in the order it all happened.

On a Monday morning, I had lost what I think was the entire sac and contents at home whilst in the shower; I had been about 6/7 weeks pg. I went to the gp, who contacted DVH and arranged for me to be seen; I had a scan after waiting surrounded by heavily pregnant women, and was told that they couldn't see anything there; I was bleeding and they did an internal scan; they referred me to the epu where I saw a doctor for 2 minutes and was told to wait which I did. Much later (it was dark outside), I was scanned again by a doctor who said there was nothing there. He asked if I'd been given a pg test since I got there ~ I hadn't and never was. I felt by his tone and facial expression that he was doubting I'd been pregnant at all which made me feel highly embarrassed and emotional.
I was sent home. It was very late by this time.

I am O rh neg and my (then) partner didn't know his blood group and I was worrying about not having had an anti d injection, but this didn't occur to me until the Wednesday. I phoned and was told to go back in to the epu. There was a lot of blank faces and no one seeming to want to listen to my concerns and 'what was I doing there now?! I was asked!!
I ended up pleading with a doctor to let me be checked to see if I needed the anti d and I was eventually sent to have a blood test. There were around 35 people waiting before me. I was then told that I didn't need to be there and that I should go back to epu which I did. I then had the blood taken (so simple in the end!) and waited for the result...I don't know if it has changed, but in 2005, you only had 72 hours before it was too late to have the anti d and I was on that border. The result came back and the doctor said 'yes, you do need it' and within 10 minutes I was on my way. I was so relieved!

Some 3 or 4 weeks later, I received my anti natal appointment through the post and to make matters worse, I received a second one. I did phone and tell them after the first letter that I would not be needing the appointment and why and after the second letter, I phoned to complain.

When I had Dd, I made sure I would not be at Darent Valley.

A friend of mine had her baby at DVH a week after I had Dd and she had a dreadful time there.

GardenWorm Wed 09-Jan-13 07:42:12

More recently... Had a baby at the new Pembury in 2011, couldn't fault them, treated me far better than Maidstone (who made it very obvious they were too busy and did an internal in a very small room whilst behind the curtain someone sat doing their work on the computer, bit strange felt like I was in their office!!!). Not as good when I had miscarriage in 2012. EPU were great, busy and a bit of a wait but to be expected (not helped by foreign nationals bowling up without referrals IMO to get a scan pic). Once the scan confirmed MC they did check to see if i was still OK to wait in the general EPU waiting area which was nice. However it was a Friday. They took bloods and told me to return on Sunday for second lot but EPU not open at wkds so go to gynae ward. Had a phone call Sat night with vmail requesting I urgently contact them, it was just to make sure I came back on the Sunday but I was a bit worried initially! Went on the Sunday and had to sit on some seats at the end of the ward waiting for a Dr to become free to take a blood sample. There was one lady in front of me and she had already been there an hour. Ended up waiting over an hour just for a blood sample. (I appreciate the Drs are busy - could a nurse have done it?). It was a bit odd waiting on the ward as well but I assume they don't have the funds to open EPU at wkds which is a shame as MC's happen anytime.... Then I heard absolutely nothing for a couple of weeks which isn't acceptable. One night a random Dr called me and asked if anyone had been in touch, told him not and to his credit he apologised profusely. I can see though that this phone call out of the blue would cause added heartache/stress for a lot of people. So I wasn't that impressed with the wkd service, can't help but feel you end up out of the EPU loop. I had no idea what was going on. It's a little gripe for me but I think others may have found it very distressing. Oh and like above I still got my scan dates in the post however I think that was just NHS efficiency more than anything as I'd had my first midwife appt. the week before.

Taffeta Wed 09-Jan-13 07:42:59

Solo - how awful. Your post reminded me I also had ante natal appointments sent through. I went on to have DD at DVH in 2006 and the care was excellent, esp compared to where I had DS 3 years earlier at QEH Woolwich.

The other thing that upset me both times were things like the free dental care card that is sent. There is no advice on what to do, do you throw it away? There is no one to call and no advice about all these small things, which can be silly stresses at a time you don't need them.

cogitosum Wed 09-Jan-13 09:33:18

I had a MMC diagnosed at a private scan and was referred to Pembury in June last year.

When I first went in I was scanned to confirm the MMC (had a bit of a wait for this) and then left in a room alone with DH for over two hours before anyone saw us. A nurse popped in once or twice to tell us someone was 'just coming' which meant we felt we couldn't leave. The original appointment was at 11.30am and we weren't seen until 3pm by which time we were starving! When the dr finally came in she said something (can't remember exact words) implying that she had been busy with important cases and ours wasn't serious. She was unable to answer any of my questions. Just gave me a leaflet on ERPC (wasn't given option of medical management just ERPC or wait which she discouraged).

I was not offered any councilling or any follow up - just given a leaflet about coping with miscarriage.

However the ERPC was a different story. They were kind, compassionate and made the experience as pleasant as possible, explaining everything. The only negatives were a pessary being inserted by a male healthcare assisatant with no warning and the nurse on the way down to the anesthetic asking if I'd had a good bank holiday weekend (er no I'd just found out i'd lost my baby!)

I was impressed with the facilities - it's a seperate area to normal antenatel and baby stuff so didn't have to see happily pregnant ladies or newborns and also impressed with communication as they informed midwives etc so I didn't get any appointment notifications or have to cancel existing appointments.

I'm now pregnant again (14 weeks) and have been very happy with Sevenoaks Midwives and Pembury hospital (only had 12 week scan there) so far - (although wasn't offered an early scan which some others have said they were after a previous miscarriage).

Hope this is helpful

crispsarenotoneofyour5aday Wed 09-Jan-13 14:02:36

Apologies - long rant
I had an absolutely horrendous experience at Pembury back in 2005. Had what I thought was a late period (TMI) during IV Treatment and just assumed that it hadn't been successful. Ending up being blue-lighted into K&ES with crippling abdominal pains when doctor called the ambulance a week later. Treated with absolute contempt on basis they assumed it was gallstones, got lectured about lifestyle etc - even though I had told them my full history and provided details of IV treatment. They then sent me for an x-ray where the radiographer expressed concern that no pregnancy test had been done, X-rays showed no gallstones. Pregnancy test was them positive. Dosed up to the eyeballs on morphine to manage the pain and they then decide it may be an ectopic pregnancy. By this time I was an emotional wreck and H had had to shoot off to collect young DS from school, pack a bag for him and take him to friends. Ignorant doctor says have to go to ultrasound for a scan. I plead to wait for H to return. No can do, porter is available to wheel you over now. Am wheeled over to Ultrasound where the staff choose to treat me as a complete inconvenience for messing up their "very full" list. I am sat alone, ignored and in floods of tears in with all the happy prospective parents for over two hours. By this time H has returned to the ward where I was and is told that I am on my way back (I had not even been seen). Ultrasound is done by man who clearly hasn't read my notes and having had a good prod around asks me to confirm that I have come in to be scanned for ovarian cancer! (I had no idea that IV can give similar readings on ultrasounds) Absolutely terrifying. Told him no, ectopic pregnancy, and he confirms this is the case. I now think I have cancer and an ectopic pregnancy. Sit around alone for another hour until a porter can be found (no phone with me to ring H). Turns out H has been sitting by empty bed for 2.5 hours so could have been at the ultrasound. Transferred to ward where the care could not have been better but, aside from a leaflet and being signed off work for 6 weeks, no follow up at all, no counselling and they forgot to let my doctor know.

On the positive side - at birth of DS2 premature and another blue light trip (a pattern here?) the emergency team and SCABU nurses and doctors were absolutely fabulous!

reastie Wed 09-Jan-13 16:05:58

I had a mc discovered by private scan and then went to PRUH 3 years ago. My private scan experience at CHelsfield Hospital was awful - I was told very unsympathetically 'there's nothing there' in a shrug sort of way. This was a Doctor not an ultra sound technician who did this.

We went straight to PRUH. We had to wait a fair while to be see as the doctor was on the labour ward attending to women there. Whilst we waited I had blood tests. When we saw him he scanned me and my experience of everything was made greatly easier by him as he was very sympathetic and friendly and nice about everything. We were given info about the mc, why it happens, future fertility, things that could go wrong, what to look out for etc. We had to go back a couple of days later to A&E for more blood tests and by chance bumped into the same doctor who was coming off duty as we were leaving. He remembered us and came to ask me how I was and was really nice about everything. Apart from the wait in A&E I really couldn't fault them.

I went on to have DD at Pembury 2 years ago and had a difficult experience being left for hours, not being monitored on the machines when I was told I should be, not seeing a doctor for longer than I should have and when I did they would wake me at 2am for a consultation and ask me questions about how I wanted labour to progress when I wasn't in a fit and awake state to answer, nurses telling me things about other patients that should be confidential and generally very much over stretched services which couldn't cope with the amount of patients. I also had an anaesthetist who assured me I would be given an antiemetic during my eventual csection (I have emetophobia) , he told me afterwards he knowingly didn't give it to me as he didn't think I needed it, even though he said he would before hand and the doctor had made a note on my notes I should have it if I asked. I still haven't forgiven him!

Solo Thu 10-Jan-13 00:37:38

Ooops! just realised I wrote antI natal, not antE natal! blush

MarathonMama Thu 10-Jan-13 14:10:50

I had a mmc at pembury in 2011, it was diagnosed at my 12 week scan. The way I was dealt with was not ideal but not awful either. I felt it was all very mechanical, like I was a machine that needed sorting rather than someone who'd just lost a baby.

After the scan we were left in a room for a couple of hours waiting to see a doctor. We were given leaflets explaining the options but no one talked us through them. Eventually a doctor arrived, he was very professionally but not at all empathetic. I decided to go for an erpc ASAP. They booked me in for two days later.

On the day of the erpc I was booked to have the first theatre slot so arrived at the hospital at 7am. We had to take dd1 with us as had no child care starting that early. Apart from putting us in our room, no one spoke to us then for 3 hours. After that an anaesthetist arrived to take my details and told me that theatre was very busy so I could be there for a while. Two hours after that and still with no other contact they came to take me to theatre. The guys pushing the trolley talked over me all the way there, the nurse who prepared me for theatre didn't smile or make any conversation. In theatre the doctor (who I hadn't met before) expressed his condolences whilst patting my thigh, which made me feel nervous and vulnerable as I hadn't met him before and felt he was about to do something very intimate.

After the op the nurse in the recovery room was brilliant, friendly, kind and appropriately empathetic. Back at the ward we were ignored again for a couple of hours. My DH had to ask if I was allowed a drink and later he asked if I could eat. They said they'd get some food but an hour later it still wasn't there so DH chased them.

Overall, in the ward I felt we were totally isolated and 'care' was very lacking. I'd be worried for someone who was on their own. All the people we saw were professional but there was very little empathy and no counselling whatsoever. Since then I've had a healthy baby girl under the Sevenoaks midwives and delivering at pembury with care I couldn't fault.

reastie Thu 10-Jan-13 21:19:18

Could I add to my previous post that when I was pg with DD I had Sevenoaks Midwives looking after me during my pg and they were, with one exception, absolutely amazing and fabulous, I felt really lucky to have such good and caring mws.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Jan-13 21:41:26

Hello there

Just wanted to check in to thank you all for sharing your experiences with us. Please keep them coming. We'll keep this thread updated.


Bakersdelight Sat 12-Jan-13 14:56:18

Hello. I have rather a long story relating to my 3 pregnancy losses through Sevenoaks and Pembury since July 2011 which I would be happy to share. Is there a limit to how much I should write at this stage or how much you can put in a single post?

Bakersdelight Sat 12-Jan-13 17:12:05

Sorry - very long post but lots to say on this subject and hope it will lead to some changes and help make a difference for others in the future!

This post is about pregnancy loss under the care of Sevenoaks and Pembury but in turn also about mental health service provision in the area as it actually goes hand in hand.

July 2011 – Sevenoaks. Two visits to my GP and 2 telephone consults with same GP with text book symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. GP knew we were trying to conceive and never did a pregnancy test. Told me there was nothing wrong and I must be having a bad period (coincidentally bleeding had started on the exact day my period was due) even though I insisted that this was very abnormal for me at that my periods are so regular and predictable I can set a watch by them.

Finally one weekend I was in such agony that DH said I really needed help and he wanted to take me to hospital. I said no at first as thought from the GPs visits that I was being a wimp about an unusually bad period. Compromised with DH and called NHS Direct. They told me to talk a pregnancy test and made an appoint with out of hours doc at Sevenoaks Hospital. Pregnancy test came up positive. Out of hours GP very sweet. He called Pembury EPDU but there was nothing they could do as it was the weekend and there are no sonographers! Made an appointment for Monday morning.

Scan – showed empty womb – so classed as PUL – pregnancy of unknown location. Another positive pregnancy test. Blood test taken to measure HCG levels. Wednesday second lot of scans and bloods. Called by hospital 10:40pm that eve and asked to come in for more scans next day and to review my case.

Finally ectopic pregnancy found in my RH fallopian tube – apparently it had been previously missed because it has looked like my ovary (8 weeks pregnant by LMP) ! Told could not leave under any circumstances and had to have emergency surgery to remove ectopic pregnancy as they said I was on the brink of rupturing and they would have to see where they could squeeze me in on the surgery list. Waited in room for hours on my own with different doctors, anaesthetists etc popping in and out fitting cannulas etc. And because having surgery - no food so started to get very weak. Very cold with aircon and also not clean – I was in the same consult room each day and same wrappers had been on the floor and marks on the desk on each of my visits that week!

However, the staff in the EPDU/Emergency Gynae are superb people, particularly the nurses and registrars. Had tube partially removed and blocked up under laparoscopic surgery. Kept in overnight in a fantastic private room. I think I was too fragile to be on a ward. Television didn’t work but TBO I really didn’t care – would have bothered some people if staying in longer. Food very limited for me as I’m non-lactose but this isn’t really what this post is about so I won’t go into that.

On discharge no information was given about the gas in my abdomen and the level of pain I would experience when I got home, which was excruciating, frightening at first and lasted for about 10 days. I wasn’t told when to take plasters off. Given a leaflet about ectopic pregnancy and told not to get pregnant again until had had at least one compete menstral cycle. I was also asked if I wanted to be followed up by my GP or by a midwife – given experience with GP – I requested midwife. Never heard a peep from anyone, so we tried to make sense of it on our own. We were really shocked when we did our own reading up into ectopic pregnancies on to discover that I could have lost all my reproductive organs and worse still, I could have died had it not been caught in time.

September 2011 – pregnant again. Because of previous ectopic referred to EPDU for early scan. Scan at 6/7 weeks – told only 5 weeks by scan as yoke sac present but empty. Scanned at 8 1/2 weeks – heart beat seen. Booking apt with Sevenoaks Midwife noted down as a vulnerable patient due to previous pregnancy and previous history of depression triggered by bereavement. Booked in for dating scan as almost 3-week discrepancy between scan date and date of LMP. Midwife told me to come and see her after the scan. 21 November 2011 – 10 or 13 weeks pregnant - Went for dating scan at Sevenoaks Hospital and diagnosed with MMC.

Went to see midwife – waited but no one answered the door, so telephoned and left a message to say what had happened. As advised by sonographer, went to Pembury EPDU to be seen by a doctor. Long wait but put in room on our own so didn’t have to sit in the waiting room. Doctor explained two options – ERPC or ‘wait and see’. ERPC could not be done for another 4-5 days as theatre list too busy. I opted to let nature take its course as had had my fill of hospitals, scans and being internally poked, prodded etc. When I did miscarry it was very painful and dramatic with contractions. Called the gynae ward and was told to call an ambulance if I needed to but to bear in mind they had no room on the gynae ward and I would have to sit in A&E and wait to be seen for pain relief. In the end managed to stick it out at home and the worst was over after 6 hours. No contact or follow up from midwife. Went back to EPDU two weeks later for scan to confirm all contents had successfully left. Spoke to senior midwife and explained about lack of aftercare support. As a result - Two weeks later - finally contact made by Sevenoaks midwife who apologised for breakdown in comms and said they were reviewing their processes.
Strangely at the EPDU at Pembury, you have to fill out paper forms each time you visit – even if you have been there many times previously. Surely they can call up your notes on the system?

February 2012 – Positive pregnant test! Terrified. Back on the rollercoaster of living fortnight to fortnight. Wait for 3 weeks until 6 weeks pregnant to have first scan to determine whether ectopic or not. Another scan at 8 weeks and heart beat and a bit more of embryo forming seen. All looking good. April 2012 - Booked in by the amazing sonographer for a reassurance scan at 10 ½ weeks. Went to see GP as at that stage suffering from stress and anxiety due situation, coupled with to problems at work and I was concerned that it might affect the success of the pregnancy and that I might become unwell (mentally) due to everything current and past history. Told to find a private councillor.

MC 2 days before scan. Went for scan as scheduled which confirmed womb as now empty. I was given a leaflet on MC. I agree with MarathonMama, that I did feel as if I was being processed. The doctors are very professional but you feel that empathy is thin on the ground. I asked for follow up support from midwives. Never heard from anyone.
Understandably devastated and unable to get head round all these losses. Frightened at the prospect of going through another loss so couldn’t bear to get pregnant straight away.

August 2012 – pregnant again. Back on the rollercoaster. Pregnancy progressing and am now 24 weeks pregnant. Pschologically have been in a terrible state and unable to accept the pregnancy is progressing. Things have been so bad that if it wasn’t for DH being so amazing, I probably wouldn’t be here today. Finally got appointment to see a consultant at 18 weeks, at Pembury based on midwife referral at booking appt. You get sent a very enigmatic letter with an appointment date and time but are not told who you are seeing or what it might be for. When you call up to find out more, they can’t tell you anything and just say the appointment must have been triggered by something that arose from the booking appointment such as diabetes. You can’t change the appointment you’ve been given. The consultant only patients Fridays 10-3pm and is totally overbooked so if you can’t make the appointment they’ve given you the next available appointment is 2-3 months ahead.

I couldn’t make the appointment time I had been given and was instead was told to turn up at the start of the clinic and 10am would be seen asap. I waited 1 ½ hours before I broke down. I had gone on my own and sitting in the waiting room at the women’s clinic was so traumatic. It’s huge - about half the size of a football pitch and full of women so heavily pregnant they’re about to drop and toddlers having tantrums. Sitting there, surround by these people I became more and more distressed, still scared as to whether my pregnancy was going to be successful. Finally seen only when I asked at reception what was going and they could see I was clearly distressed. Was first seen by a nurse and despite my obvious distress, she wanted to send me back into the waiting room until I could be seen by a doctor. I asked to be able to wait somewhere else.

Seen by a doctor – not the consultant I was booked to see. She spoke to me for a few minutes. Diagnosed severe depression and that she was referring me to MIMHS (Mother and Infant Mental Health Services) as very concerned that I was not connecting with my pregnancy and that I needed help. She told me I should get an appointment with my GP asap to get them to make the referral too, so that it would help push my case forward. Saw GP that afternoon.

December 2012 – appointment to be assessed by mental health team at St John’s Centre Sevenoaks – this closed on 2 January 2013 – a travesty. Reception staff incredibly rude – apparently due to immanent closure but surely they should be professional enough to still be able to do their jobs? Assessed by an occupational mental health professional and social worker who were very nice. Concluded I definitely needed MIMHS referral to get some support to turn things around before the baby comes. They said I may need medication. I said I was reluctant as worried about long term damage to baby. She said that I would be seen by a MIMHS professional who would be able to discuss all the pros and cons with me in making that decision.

End of December 2012 - becoming very unwell and DH very concerned I am going downhill rapidly. DH booked me an emergency doctors appoint (not with my GP). Doctor I saw was very cold and uninterested in his manner but said he would look into my referral and call me the next morning. Next morning he calls to say MIMHS has said to put me on medication and that I would be called that afternoon by someone from Highland House in Tunbridge Wells. I explained that although I now felt so unwell I would be open to considering medication, I would need to speak to someone about the pros and cons to make an informed decision.

End of the same day – still not heard from Highland House so I call them. Social worker looks up my notes and says that my referral to MIMHS has been rejected and the occupational mental health professional I saw at St John’s will need to ‘negotiate’ with MIMHS to try and get some care for me. The GP I had spoken to that morning had also called them told them I had refused medication!!!!!!! When I explained that that wasn’t true she said that surely the GP, as a prescribing practitioner, should/could have at least talked me through things. Apparently until anything else can be ‘negotiated’ primary care is recommended and the wait is a minimum of 20 weeks!

Interesting to read that this is what should really happen in pregnancy:

On a positive note my midwife has finally come up with something that could be of great help. A support group based in Tunbridge Wells STEPS that clearly hardly anyone seems to know about.
The group was set up by a lady who lost her son and found SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) a great support, but when she was pregnant again she felt uncomfortable attending meetings. She therefore had the idea of starting STEPS (Sharing Thoughts and Emotions in Pregnancy, after a loss) for parents who have lost babies at various stages of pregnancy or shortly after birth, and are expecting another baby. The group is very small and informal and where you can talk openly about worries and experiences, or just to sit and listen. The groups meets once a month and one of 3 midwives attend for part of the meeting.

I have contacted Linda and I’m hoping to go along to their next meeting.

To date - still no news from MIMHS, Highland House or any primary care services.
In summary, I feel that even if you do try and seek help you are just left to rot.

Pembury Maternity Unit
When you have had bad experiences of pregnancy and in turn hospitals, you are understandably scared. Pembury no longer does hospital tours of the maternity unit – apparently this is due to infection control. This is a real shame as particularly women who have experienced pregnancy loss could certainly benefit from a tour before they go to give birth so they can try and make positive preparations for their labour and birth experiences.

pottypit Mon 14-Jan-13 18:34:11

December 2011 gave birth at Pembury, baby born at 1.30am was then left in delivery room all night. It was freezing cold with air conditioning blowing straight at the bed. Dh asked nurse at desk several time for blankets but she couldn't leave her desk, no one else available to take us to a proper room. Dh not allowed in cupboard to help himself to blankets. Baby wanted to feed all night both of us were really cold, baby had one cellular blanket. Had to feed her on the bed I'd delivered on which was very bloody. I had one thin sheet and a hand towel which I used to try and keep warm. Finally moved to another room at 8.45 in the morning wanted to go home as really upset and cold finally left 7pm that evening after waiting all day to be disharged.

I've had 4 natural mc managed at Maidstone hospital and care was good.

Jollyb Mon 14-Jan-13 20:17:30

I've had 2 MC managed at Pembury and one before at Kings. The biggest problem I have encountered with Pembury is accessing the EPU. One of my miscarriages was diagnosed on a Sat am at a routine private scan. I went to the GP at 8.30am on the Monday morning and she phoned the EPU straight away. Earliest I could be seen was Wednesday. With this pregnancy I had a bleed on a Monday and couldn't be seen for a scan until the Thursday. It would be preferable if the unit could offer a walk in service or accept self referrals.

Having said this once i've made it through the doors the care has been pretty good. I think I've been scanned by 4 sonographers over 3 pregnancies /MCs and all had an excellent manner and handled the bad news both professionally and with empathy. When I needed an ERPC this was performed the day after my EPU visit.

SneakyNuts Mon 14-Jan-13 20:57:55

Kent and Sussex (now closed) treated me very poorly when I arrived in A&E in the midst of a miscarriage (this was Dec 2009)

The Doctor who saw me had no empathy whatsoever and a terrible bedside manner. She said "blood test or internal, what's it to be?"

In the end I walked out and we dealt with the loss as a couple. I wish the medical professionals had been more caring and willing to help me mentally as well as physically.

To this day (and throughout my successful pregnancy in 2011) not a single medical professional, including every midwife involved, has asked me if I'd been able to talk to anyone.

I had DD at the end of 2011 in Pembury. The staff were incredible and saved her life, so I can't fault them.

Taffeta Mon 14-Jan-13 22:07:34

I just remembered something else. What seemed like a million times I was asked what number pregnancy this was when I had DD at DVH in 2003.

Which prompts the question, live or not? It's also plastered all over notes etc, how many pregnancies, just in case I was ever in any doubt of forgetting the 2 mcs.

Taffeta Mon 14-Jan-13 22:08:29

Sorry that should say 2006, not 2003.

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