Chadwell Heath woman loses baby after ‘being left in hospital queue’
PUBLISHED: 09:19 30 December 2011
An expectant mother suffered a miscarriage after allegedly being kept standing in A&E for half an hour despite suffering pain and her waters breaking.
Anu Patel, 26, was five months pregnant when she called an ambulance to her Chadwell Heath home on December 2.
Although she lives only minutes from King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, paramedics told her they had no choice but to take her on a 30-minute journey to Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
When she arrived, Mrs Patel says she was forced to wait on foot in a queue of eight patients, who had all arrived by ambulance, but was not given a wheelchair.
She told the Recorder: “I was standing there, leaning against the wall, and then my waters broke.
“But when we made the nurses aware they said ‘are you sure you haven’t wet yourself?’. A paramedic had to have a look and said that my waters had broken.”
Although staff rushed Mrs Patel, of Grove Road, to the gynaecology ward, she says she wasn’t seen by a specialist for another two hours.
He told her she was suffering a late miscarriage and there was nothing that could be done. It is the second time tragedy has struck Mrs Patel and her husband, Rinkal. Three years ago she suffered a miscarriage under similar circumstances.
On that occasion she was being taken to Queen’s when her waters broke in the ambulance, and she was diverted to King George.
“It was so hard because I knew exactly what was happening to me this time,” she said. “I knew if I got medical attention in time then it might have prevented it [the miscarriage].”
Mrs Patel added: “I was appalled with how they treated me. Having to stand there with my waters broken was just demeaning.” She added the intention to close the A&E and labour ward at King George is “disgusting”.
Medical director Stephen Burgess said: “I am sorry if Mrs Patel faced delays in our emergency department.
“Unfortunately, her miscarriage could not have been prevented, but my thoughts are with her at this very difficult time.
“We have not received a complaint from Mrs Patel regarding her care, but we would be happy to meet with her to discuss any concerns she may have.”