Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s Executive Director of Nursing, Ruth Walker, offered the Board’s unreserved apologies to Emily Wheatley for misdiagnosing her pregnancy. The Board has accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendations and assures the public it has now updated it's protocols.
"We do not underestimate the distress we have caused and are genuinely sorry that it has taken an Ombudsman’s report for her to receive the answers she deserved. What happened is absolutely unacceptable"
“While we now have protocols in place within the Obstetrics and Gynaecology directorate that comply with best practice, we have decided to go beyond the Ombudsman’s recommendations and undertake a review of the way we care for women in the early stages of pregnancy. "
The Health Board understands there may be current or former patients who have concerns about their experience of early pregnancy scans whilst in their care. They've opened a helpline to support anyone who wants to talk through issues relating to their care. The UHB helpline number is 0800 952 0244
A mother from Monmouth was told by midwives at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff that she had suffered a 'silent miscarriage'. 24 hours later, Emily Wheatley had another scan at a different hospital which revealed she was still pregnant.
The health ombudsman for Wales found the Health Board had failed to implement guidelines issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) that were designed to prevent the misdiagnosis of early pregnancy loss.
The health board has now been ordered to review its procedures, apologise to Emily and pay her £1,500 in recognition of the inconvenience and expense incurred in obtaining alternative antenatal care.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wales, Kirsty Williams AM, says while she welcomes the drop in teenage pregnancies, the rate is "still too high".
Many young mothers have a positive experience of pregnancy, but the reality is that many teenage pregnancies are unplanned. Good quality sexual and relationship education in schools is incredibly important if we are to tackle this.
There is no hiding from the fact that teenage pregnancies are not evenly distributed across society. Too often young people living in poorer areas suffer from low self-esteem and believe they have a lack of life opportunities.
– Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Teenage pregnancy rates in Wales have dropped by almost a quarter in the past decade, new figures show.
The Office for National Statistics figures said in 2011, 34 girls out of every 1,000 fell pregnant under the age of 18, down from 45 per 1,000 in 2001.
Julia Chandler, national officer for the Royal College of Midwives in Wales, said greater awareness of teenage pregnancy among teenagers, along with more availability of morning-after contraception, had contributed to the decline.
Despite the fall, the conception rate for under 18s remained higher than in England.
In 2011, 34.2 girls out of every 1,000 fell pregnant in Wales compared with 30.7 in England.
Merthyr Tydfil had the highest rate out of Wales's 22 local authority areas, with 54.1 out of every 1,000 girls aged 15-17 becoming pregnant. That figure was the fourth highest in England and Wales.
Blaenau Gwent saw the biggest fall in Wales, dropping by 32%.