A woman who says she was left to miscarry at home after a hospital refused to see her says she has been left “heartbroken” by the experience.
Emily Daft, who said her pregnancy was classed as high risk, started bleeding but was told by Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) to stay at home.
A private scan confirmed a miscarriage and the clinic called the QMC but was told she could not be seen that day.
The QMC has apologised for the distress caused.
Mrs Daft, 24, who had previously miscarried, said: “The only way I found out we had lost the baby was by paying.
“It was here (at the IVF clinic), at our own cost, by the same nurse that showed us our baby’s heartbeat, that we were sadly told and shown our baby had died.
“Our baby had stopped growing a few weeks prior and we were left absolutely heartbroken.”
- 16 January: Mrs Daft, at nine weeks pregnant, started to bleed and called the QMC’s Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU). Despite explaining she was high risk due to illness, she was told to stay home and wait 48 hours to see if her symptoms worsened
- Mrs Daft wanted a midwife’s opinion and eventually spoke to a community midwife who called the unit to say she needed to be seen. The midwife was told the unit would not see her that day
- An appointment was made at the IVF clinic where Mrs Daft was treated and a scan confirmed the miscarriage. The clinic phoned the EPU to hand over her care but was told she still could not be seen that day. Mrs Daft called the EPU directly and was told they would call her the following day
- 17 January: Mrs Daft did not hear from the EPU, but called them and was asked to come in. At the EPU, she was seen by a student nurse and registrar, but asked to come back for a consultation the following day. Mrs Daft said she was bleeding heavily and experiencing severe cramps
- 18 January: Mrs Daft said she was “in agony” with cramps and unable to get out of bed. She passed the baby at home alone. She then phoned the EPU and was asked to come straight in and was given a scan and blood test. Mrs Daft said she was sent home without a follow-up appointment and told someone would call her. She never received the call she was expecting. The QMC told the BBC she would only be called if the test results highlighted a problem
Mrs Daft, from Sandiacre, Derbyshire, said due to her various illnesses, she had a meeting with the pre-pregnancy planning team at QMC a few years ago when she wanted to start trying for a baby. She said it was agreed that once she fell pregnant she would be regularly monitored.
However, after a scan at the IVF clinic confirming she was six weeks pregnant, the first appointment she was offered at the QMC antenatal clinic was at 14 weeks. She “fought” to get this brought forward to 11 weeks, but did not feel this was enough.
“We have lost faith that much that my husband’s parents are going to pay for [future] private scans every week at the [private] clinic. It is the only way we feel comfortable going down that route again,” Mrs Daft said.
Lucy Kean, clinical chair for Obstetrics and Gynaecology at QMC, said: “We send our condolences to the family and are sorry to hear of the concerns raised by Mrs Daft and for the distressed caused.
“We will be contacting Mrs Daft further so that we can better understand her experience and how we can support her and her family at this difficult time.”
Emma Kirk, from the Association of Early Pregnancy Units, which represents more than 200 EPUs in the UK, said there was a huge variation in how quickly women could be seen.
“We are trying to standardise it. Some have big units open seven days a weeks and some are open three mornings, with a single nurse.
“Women with a history of miscarriages or ectopic pregnancy should be able to self-refer and most will try to see patients within 48 hours, ideally within 24 (of their referral). Most can see women the same day, but it really depends.”
She added some women did naturally pass their baby before an operation or treatment after the miscarriage.
“If that has not been explained, that will be scary and horrible. It is our duty to explain all these things.”