"Frustrating 4hour visit to A&E without injury..."

About: Grantham & District Hospital

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Having phoned NHS direct 111 number, we were referred to Grantham as we were assured it would be able to remove a large blackthorn my daughter had in her arm. We were told we had a computer referral and Grantham would have us on their system. On arrival we were told this is not true, they are not linked into this system. In 4 hours we saw 1 nurse, had an X-ray, saw one doctor twice and another one once. Finally we were told just within the 4 hour limit that Grantham did not have the expertise over the weekend to give a local anaesthetic to an U16, so we needed to go somewhere else. This could have been established much earlier in the process, either on the phone with the first meeting with staff. The only useful outcome from 5 hous trip to Grantham was a pack of powerful antibiotics to mimise the risk of blood poisoning from the blackthorn still in situ. What a waste of time and resources: both nhs direct and Grantham get to tick their boxes, yet the patient is not treated successfully. Thankfully our fantastic rural GP gave a local, a tetanus and removed the 2.5cm blackthorn in 15 mins this morning.

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Response from Jennie Negus, Deputy Director of Patient Services, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Jennie Negus

I can fully understand your frustration; and yes it certainly seems that a decision on required care could have been reached and relayed to you much sooner - clearly there was a need to x-ray and check the depth of the penetration and whether the thorn had splintered etc and it may have been that a decision could not have been made until that was undertaken; I am unable to say for sure without some further details so I can check your daughters records.

Grantham does not have in-patient paediatric care which does limit some of the interventions but some procedures can be carried out; however this can only be if we have the specific staff there at that time. I do appreciate and apologise for the inconvenience this caused you but more importantly am also very sorry for the distress and continued discomfort to your daughter in not being able to sort this for you at the time.

Thank you again for your feedback and I am hope your daughter is now fully recovered.

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