"5 month old baby in A&E"

About: Eastbourne District General Hospital

Was told to take our baby to A&E by 111 after 3 doctors failed to identify the problem resulting in her chocking on her own vomit. When we arrived we were told that 111 send everyone to A&E but we could see the nurse and they would decide if my baby needed assistance. We were seen by the nurse who was very friendly and thought it might be croup so told us to stay and see the doctor. After 2 hours my baby had her coughing fit and started to chock on her vomit at that point the nurses paged the doctor and they arrived promptly (I hate to think how long we would have waited if they didn't,) the doctor was very rude to the nurse who was trying to assist us, the nurse had put my daughter on a blood oxygen machine just to check she was getting oxygen when she was having coughing fits the doctor questioned the nurse in front of us why they had done this and before they could answer the doctor told the nurse to get it out. We explained all the symptoms she had and that she had seen the GP 3 times and they couldn't find an infection but 111 were concerned that the vomiting was a reaction to the steroids given to her by a previous doctor they dismissed everything we had told them and was more interested in why we felt it was an A&E case. You can't win if I had ignored 111 and not taken my baby to A&E against their advice and something had happened to her in the night I would probably be done for child neglect so I take her to A&E only to be treated as if I am an in convince and to be honest the doctor was just rude. The doctor said they could find nothing wrong but would take blood and do an X-ray when I asked what the risks were with an X-ray in a baby so young the doctor became so rude telling me they were only doing the test to keep me happy as there was nothing wrong and the cough was probably caused by me (yes I am a smoker but never in the house and never around her) and if I didn't want her treated then why did I bring her in. I couldn't believe the doctor had taken so much offence to me asking the risks they stormed off at this point and the nurse came over who had obviously heard how they spoke to me to try and reassure me that they were a good doctor. When the doctor finally returned they did say that the X-ray probably wouldn't show anything different to the bloods so we agreed on bloods and a throat snob. Well 9 days on My daughter is still chocking on her vomit (she has had this cough for 8 weeks in total) and I am still waiting the results every time I call they won't even check if the results are back they keep telling me to call the doctor but my doctor says they still haven't even notified them she attended A&E I have now taken her private and they believe everything I have described is classic signs of whooping cough (just waiting test results) which is highly contagious and dangerous in young babies. Why is it if you live in Eastbourne and want any level of care or respect you have to go private. This hospital needs to be closed down every experience I have had in different areas has been shocking.

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Response from Eastbourne District General Hospital

We are extremely saddened to read about your experience with the A&E department at Eastbourne DGH, when you attended with your daughter, on the advice of the 111 service. Your description of events is clearly not the high quality of care we are committed to providing and we therefore wish to look into what happened in more detail. In order for us to do this and fully act upon the issues that you raise, it would be helpful if we could speak to you in person and gather further detailed information from you. This would also give us an opportunity to apologise to you in person. In the meantime, we would like to reassure you that we have taken your posting very seriously and have shared the content with the Clinical Lead for Urgent Care If you are willing to provide more information, we would urge you to contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) who will liaise with senior staff in the A&E department on your behalf. PALS can be contacted by telephone on 01323 435886 or alternatively, if you provide your telephone contact details by email to: esh-tr.PALSE@nhs.net. You will be contacted by them. Please accept our apologies for the fact that your experience was poor. With kindest regards