Improvements in hospital care for women who miscarry is good, but more needs to be done

Tommy’s is pleased to see that recent Mumsnet Survey results show big improvements in miscarriage care, but there are still some worrying trends which need to be addressed.

December 2016

We are so heartened to see the new Mumsnet survey figures that indicate improvements in miscarriage care since the start of their fantastic Better Miscarriage Care campaign in 2011.

NHS care was rated excellent or good by 63% of the women surveyed. This is a significant improvement on the 53% in 2014.

The survey results indicate that several aspects of care have really improved. Medical staff’s empathy and compassion for women suffering this heartbreak has gone from 59% being rated excellent or very good, to 73%.

Whilst these are positive steps forward, we still have a long way to go before parents receive the best possible care and support they need at this devastating time.

Follow up care is still rarely offered which can have a lasting effect on the mother’s mental health.

‘I have been diagnosed with PTSD, which I was told was down to the trauma caused by each miscarriage, and the lack of follow up care given from professionals.’ Tommy’s supporter Gemma Willson who has suffered recurrent miscarriages.

Mumsnet reported a jump in waiting times for surgical treatment and poor support for those who are sent home to miscarry. 74% said they were given little to no information about what to expect, whilst those who were given information rated it as inadequate.

Receiving the news that you’ve lost your baby can be  deeply distressing, and yet 63% of survey respondents had to sit with or walk past pregnant women after having a scan to confirm they had miscarried.

‘I went out into a doctors waiting room with pregnant women all around me to call my husband who was at work completely unaware of what I was about to say.’ Lindsey’s story of #misCOURAGE.

More is clearly still needed to provide for women undergoing loss and treat them sensitively at this devastating time. The psychological impact of loss can last a lifetime and it is vital that more is done to support these women.

Tommy’s midwife Nikki says,

‘It is great news that improvements have been made with regards to NHS care and empathy for those women suffering from miscarriage. However we still have a long way to go, especially with regards to those women who are sent home to miscarry. It is unacceptable that 74% of them not being given information about what to expect when they miscarry alone. Communication is the key in many cases, especially as recent research shows that early miscarriage & ectopic pregnancies can trigger PTSD. Health professionals should reflect and acknowledge this by improving communications and support for these women, perhaps even considering a different venue or time for scans confirming miscarriage to that of obstetric scans.' 

 

If you or someone close to you is need of support following a miscarriage, you can read our information pages about the different kind of support available to you here.

Recent research has suggested that early miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. You can read about this study and how it gives voice to the women suffering in silence here.

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