"Poorly child"

About: Hexham General Hospital

took my poorly little girl to A&E with a very nasty rash and a temp. Was seen by the triage nurse who couldn't take any obs due to my child being all worked up. Said she would return and never did! It was over the teatime period and not one nurse came to see if my 15month old even needed a drink! And it wasn't that they were all tied up as we saw them plenty! Waited 5 hours (even though they have a 4 hour target to meet) eventually saw an out of hours gp who was fairly blunt and seemed annoyed when my child became distressed! I ended up going to see my own gp the next day and my child was diagnosed with hand foot and mouth!! If I'd known we were waiting for the out of hours gp I could have taken my child home and tried to feed her and returned instead of waiting all that time on a tiny room!

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Response from Hexham General Hospital

Dear Madam, All A&E services across the region have been under extreme pressure recently and over the last couple of weeks in particular - I am terribly sorry that this has resulted in you waiting far longer than we would have liked for your wee girl to be seen. Our teams are doing the very best they can to respond to this unprecedented demand on the service, and are working very hard to ensure that all patients are kept safe and prioritised according to the severity of their medical condition. Through the local media, we have urged members of the public to make best use of the community services available to them and to only come into A&E when they are concerned about a serious condition that demands urgent attention. In this way those that do need to be seen quickly can get the help they urgently need. I can appreciate how unpleasant it was waiting with such a young baby, unable to give the comfort she needed. I'm sorry for any distress this may have also caused you as her Mother. Given the diagnosis of a virus, I can understand why you feel, with hindsight, that keeping your daughter at home where you had the best chance of giving her lots of fluids would have been the best course of action. I am, nonetheless, very sorry that the behaviour you describe of one of the out of hours GP meant you weren't given the support you were after that evening. I hope one week on your daughter is feeling considerably happier and that the symptoms and discomfort of hand, foot and mouth have almost disappeared. I will pass on your review to the emergency care team to share and discuss at their next governance meeting.With thanks again for bringing this to our attention, Annie

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