Health & Fitness Heavily pregnant Scots woman forced to stand outside hospital for 40 minutes for midwife appointments
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Heavily pregnant Caitlin Smart says she’s been forced to wait outside for up to 40 minutes for a midwife appointment because ofrestrictions.
She’s complained to NHS Grampian about standing out in the open for long periods at Huntly Jubilee Hospital,.
Caitlin, 38, from Rothiemay, said she "dreaded" her. She stood on a ramp by a fire exit for 40 minutes on one occasion.
More recently, waiting for her 30-week check, she was left in 22C heat for 20 minutes.
Parents group UFT Scotland called it a "disgraceful scenario" which "epitomises the utter disregard that exists for mothers and children".
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Caitlin said she feared other women would be put off attending check-ups.
"It's been going on since the start of my pregnancy and it's so hot now," she said. "I dreaded going on Friday as it was so hot.
"It runs the risk of people not going to their appointments. And if they don't go, it could end badly.
"The 30-week check is a very important appointment - they checked my bloods and how the baby was doing."
Ms Smart said she went to the A&E reception, pressing the intercom six times without answer.
Eventually a nurse came to the door for another patient, telling her she needed to go to the fire exit.
"It's just not right to have pregnant women standing out in all weathers," Ms Smart said.
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"There's no shelter, there's no seat, and there's no way to contact the midwife to check she knows you are waiting.
"I've had appointments at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and the Inverurie Maternity Unit, and my experience was so different there.
"The security guards were helpful, the people inside were normal, I was offered a bottle of water while I waited."
She added that she understood the Covid wait at Huntly was because restrictions have to be in place, but said the rules were "very inconsistent".
Ms Smart said: "Inside the fire exit door at Huntly Jubilee Hospital there are six seats.
"There is also an empty waiting area in the A&E department, as well as in an adjoining corridor. I'm unsure why these can't be used.
"I find it ridiculous NHS Grampian expect heavily pregnant women to stand outside for up to 40 minutes on a ramp in a car park in order to see their midwife.
"I really struggled in the heat, and I had no way to contact my midwife. If I had fainted no one would have seen me."
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Jo Bisset, organiser for parents group UFT Scotland, said: "This disgraceful scenario epitomises the utter disregard that exists for mothers and children. There's no acceptable circumstances under which pregnant women should be treated like this.
"If this had happened pre-pandemic everyone would be appalled."
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said the Covid wait at Huntly has been raised with the Jubilee team.
She added: "We are sorry to hear this patient had a poor experience at their recent appointment.
"Covid restrictions and safety measures are unique to each building, taking account of the space available.
"We aim to apply measures as consistently as we can."
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