More than half of the 150,000 plus women who miscarry in the UK every year also suffer from being treated insensitively and face unacceptable delays in treatment, a survey has found.

Many have to share hospital wards with pregnant women or mothers with newborn children, adding to their distress and also often face waits of more than three days to undergo a surgical procedure or scan.

Family support website Mumsnet conducted the survey to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Day on October 15 and have launched a campaign for "Better Miscarriage Care" advocating the use of their "Miscarriage Code of Care", which focuses on better access to scanning, better training for staff to help them to be more supportive and joined-up care.

Gynaecologist Professor Tom Bourne, from Imperial College NHS Trust, backs the code, "Possible miscarriage is one of the most common reasons why women are seen in hospital.

"The Mumsnet code addresses some of the fundamental principles involved in caring for women at this difficult time and is to be applauded," he said.

With the possible causes of miscarriage ranging from genetic abnormalities to infections and fevers the correct treatment can be hard to identify, something that Jane Brewin from medical research charity Tommy's hopes the results of this survey will encourage.

"Mumsnet has highlighted the distress felt by so many mums when they suffer a miscarriage," she said.

"More research is needed to understand what goes wrong and to treat those affected, and the very high standards of care delivered by many health professionals need to be consistently applied."


The full survey results are available here.
Posted October 11th, 2011 at 1615 by