For women who miscarry in hospital, many areas of hospital care have improved – that's according to a new Mumsnet survey of women who have experienced pregnancy loss since January 2016. The surveys builds on the results of those carried out in 2011 and 2014, and the data now shows steady progress in many areas of hospital care since the launch of the Mumsnet Better Miscarriage Care campaign in 2011.
28% of those who had a scan to confirm that their pregnancy was no longer viable waited less than four hours for it (compared with 23% in both 2014 and 2011).
44% of those who miscarried in hospital report that the information provided about what would happen to the remains of the foetus was ‘comprehensive and compassionate’ (compared with 33% in 2014 and just 15% in 2011).
Asked to rate NHS staff’s empathy and compassion, hospital midwives were rated ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ by 73% (70% in 2014 and 59% in 2011); hospital nurses were rated ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ by 71% (65% in 2014 and 59% in 2011); and hospital consultants were rated ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ by 59% (56% in 2014 and 52% in 2011).
NHS care overall was rated excellent or good by 63% (53% in 2014).
Nearly eight out of ten (79%) of those surveyed had access to an Early Pregnancy Unit – the recommended NICE treatment path for women who miscarry.
But the picture for those sent home to miscarry remains patchy – and despite recommendations to the contrary, most women who miscarry continue to be treated alongside women with healthy ongoing pregnancies. This is a cause of considerable distress at a time of great sadness.
Follow up care is rarely offered, even though most women say they they would have liked it; and there's been a jump in waiting times for surgical treatment.
Just 17% of those who miscarried at home say they were given adequate pain relief.
74% of those who miscarried at home were not given any information at all about what to expect and what the overall experience might be like, or were given information but felt it was inadequate.
73% of those who needed surgical treatment after miscarriage had to wait two or more days for it (66% in 2014 and 61% in 2011).
63% of all survey respondents sat with or walked past women with ongoing healthy pregnancies after having a scan to confirm that they had miscarried.
47% of all survey respondents think they would have benefited from follow-up medical care, and 52% say they would have benefited from counselling, but very few were offered either: just 11% were offered follow up care from a GP.
Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said:
These results show evidence of real improvements in hospital care for miscarrying women; no small achievement in a time of financial restraint in the NHS. It’s very heartening to see women’s concerns over standards of care being taken seriously. Greater emphasis now needs to be placed on fully preparing women who are going to miscarry at home, and on proactively offering follow-up care and counselling.