NHS Prolonging Miscarriage Distress
October 10, 2011
Calls for NHS improvements after survey revealed half of women suffering miscarriages put on wards with new or expectant mothers.
The Mumsnet campaign ‘Better Miscarriage Care’ was launched on Monday after a survey revealed that many women suffering from miscarriages were not receiving adequate care.
The survey of 1,400 Mumsnet members exposed how most didn’t believe they had received acceptable health care, with many having to wait days for essential scans or surgical procedures, nearly half being placed on wards with new or expectant mothers, and many who chose to miscarry at home often not being offered adequate pain relief.
One member posted: “I was sent back to the waiting area, where I had to wait nearly two hours to see a doctor. In that time, lots of pregnant women came along, had their scans, and went home smiling. I was sat sobbing in front of all these people.”
Ahead of Baby Loss Awareness Day on October 15, the campaign includes the proposal of a ‘Miscarriage Code of Care’ which calls for five main changes to the current health services available; the implementation of supportive staff that are trained in listening and communication skills, better access to scanning, safe and appropriate places for treatment, good information and effective treatment, as well as joined-up care.
Speaking of the reasons behind the website’s campaign Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet, said: “There is no getting away from the hurt of miscarriage, but there are a number of simple changes that could make a considerable difference to the level of trauma miscarrying parents undergo.”
She added: “We’re asking national and local politicians and health care providers to get behind our code of care to improve the treatment received by women who miscarry.”
Many healthcare professionals are welcoming the proposed changes including Professor Tom Bourne, consultant gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea hospital, London, who commented: “Many of the issues raised by the Mumsnet miscarriage code of care are fundamental…Women with a possible miscarriage should never have to wait in an ante-natal environment and, once a miscarriage has been confirmed, there must be communication between professionals to prevent the upset caused by being chased for further appointments or nuchal scans.”
He added: “Women should be offered different treatment options and, for non-surgical approaches, they also must be given realistic information about what is involved, and have adequate analgesia and access to care should they run into problems.”
Speaking to The Fresh Outlook, Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, also spoke of her support for Mumsnet’s campaign: “We’re a small and not particularly wealthy charity and so Mumsnet have really helped as they are highlighting people’s needs and making them aware of the support that they can receive.”
She then added: “Women don’t know what to expect…They don’t always get the sensitive care that they want.”
For more information about Mumsnet’s campaign for better miscarriage care see their website.
Or for any support or information about miscarriages you can also refer to the Miscarriage Association’s website. Alternatively you can call their helpline on 01924 200 799.
By Laura Beard
[Image Courtesy of Craig Larson]