4 hours ...... That is how long I was kept waiting yesterday afternoon to see a consultant at my local hospital. All I can say is I was...

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4 hours ......

That is how long I was kept waiting yesterday afternoon to see a consultant at my local hospital.
All I can say is I was not impressed.  At all.

Before I start I would just like to point out that I am completely happy with the care I have received from my community midwife.  I see her regularly and she is lovely and always there if I have any questions or worries.

An appointment had been scheduled for 2:45pm at the antenatal clinic in my local hospital.  My midwife had decided that it was necessary for me to be under the care of a consultant for this pregnancy as, due to various reasons, they were classing this pregnancy as high risk.  I didn't have a problem with that decision, but made it perfectly clear to her that under no circumstances would I see the same consultant who I had the misfortune of meeting while trying to make the decision of whether or not we could continue with the pregnancy. (1 baby, 2 baby, 2 baby, 4 ....) I explained my reasons to the midwife and she was happy to refer me to a different consultant.  All was good in the world, and I was happy that I would be seeing a friendly consultant that would be helpful and informative instead of rude and condescending.
Time ticked by, and the day of my appointment finally arrived and I was looking forward to finding out what the plan was for the rest of the pregnancy.
Daddy D had taken the afternoon off of work so that he could collect the children from school, and the plan was that I would meet them in the playground after my appointment, we would go home, and would be enjoying a family evening together watching 'The Lion King' on DVD and eating popcorn.
No such luck.
On arrival I was informed that there was a one hour delay for the clinic I had been booked in to.  Nothing major.  I text Daddy D to let him know that I would meet him at home instead, and settled myself down to read while I waited.
If I had known what was to follow I probably would have left.
The hour passed by and I was called into a separate waiting room.  Once there my blood pressure was checked by a Maternity Care Assistant and I was assured that my wait wouldn't be much longer now.

Tick, tock, tick, tock ......... another hour passed by.

The midwife in charge of the clinic came to see all of the patients, one by one, in order that they were supposed to be seen, to apologise for the delay and thank us for our patience.  At last, an apology .... even if it had taken them two hours.
I now knew, from the order of apologies, that I was second from last to be seen and that there were still three women ahead of me on the list.  I was starting to get uncomfortable and annoyed.  I had only expected to be there for a short time so did not have any money with me.  I had not had anything to eat and all I had was the water fountain to sustain me.  As the minutes and hours ticked by it got darker and darker outside, and I now faced the prospect of walking the 20 minute walk home, alone in the dark.
My mood was not improving.

Another hour past.
I had now been waiting for three hours, but I was finally next on the list to be seen.  The midwife had even come to apologise to me and to tell me I was next.
Yeah right.
Next thing I knew, the consultant had to go and assist the registrar with an ultrasound scan.  More waiting.
Not only that, but he then approached me, apologised for keeping me waiting and informed me that I would be seen by the registrar, and he would 'pop in' to see me once she had taken all of the information.  I was starting to feel like I was being well and truly palmed off.
But hang on ..... it gets worse .......
The consultant then proceeded to call in the patient who was AFTER me on the list.
I had been skipped over ...... And why? ....... Because the consultant already knew the other patient.
How do I know this? ...... Because I had been speaking to her in the waiting room  ....... and the consultant had already been out and said "Hello, how is she?" etc, etc ...... and that he wouldn't keep her waiting much longer.
By this point I had been waiting for 3 and a half hours, I was tired, hungry, and had the headache from hell.
It took every ounce of strength to stop myself from bursting into tears.

How had I managed to be treated so badly by two different consultants?

Finally the registrar finished with her patients and called me in.  She took all of my history from me and told me that the consultant would be with us soon.  After taking my history she told me in a very condescending voice that, in her opinion there was no reason for me to be here and that she doubted the consultant would need to see me again.
Basically she was telling me that I had just wasted 4 hours, that I could have been spending with my family, for no reason.
Again I had to fight to hold back the tears.
I had had enough.
The consultant finally joined us and discussed my previous pregnancies, and the fact that I am already suffering from symphysis pubis dysfunction, and he decided that he will see me again at 36 weeks to see how I am coping, and to determine whether or not they will need to deliver early.

I finally left the clinic 4 hours after my initial appointment time.
I was the last person to leave.
Needless to say I felt completely let down by the care I had received.
I started to walk home in the dark, and then my lovely friend came to my rescue.  She knew what I had suffered and came and collected me and drive me home.  I couldn't have been more grateful to her than I was at that moment.

Other than the symphysis pubis dysfuncton everything else seems to be fine.  I have been referred to physiotherapy in the hope that they will be able to relieve some of the pain I am suffering.
 Fingers crossed I receive better care form them than I have from the clinic at hospital.

When I returned home it was the children's bedtime, and I then had to face their disappointment as I explained that we wouldn't be able to watch the film that night.  Not a nice task.
I have promised them that we will turn the living room into our own little cinema and watch it as soon as they get home from school today.  They are all very excited ....... and I must admit, I am looking forward to it too.


5 comments:

  1. Oh thats awful, poor you. I had a similar waste of an appointment last time too and they want me back next month! Hope you manage the rest of you pg hassle free.
    XxX

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  2. Make sure you write a complaint, I know it doesn't feel like much but at least you might be able to stop some other woman suffering the same as you did. Oh and I'm loving the cinema idea for tonight!

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  3. What's particularly depressing is being treated as though you're waiting their time!

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  4. That should have been 'wasting' rather than 'waiting', btw!

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  5. Thank you all for the comments. I am having problems replying as for some reason I am only able to see your comments on my mobile and not on my pc, so I apologise for the joint reply.
    I will be making a complaint to the hospital about the way I have been treated on both occasions thy I have been to see a consultant.
    I have my fingers crossed that things will start to go right from here.
    Missy xx

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