"A&E and children's observation & assessment unit"

About: Royal Oldham Hospital

We took our baby daughter in to Oldham A&E to be seen because she has been suffering from what seems to be seizures during her sleep for the past 3 months, and we are still waiting for a hospital appointment. After her having what looked like 4 seizures in the space of 5 days and after them becoming more prolonged we rang 111 who told us to get her to the hospital immediately. We were sent to the children's observation and assessment unit and shown a video of benign myoclonus by a doctor and asked if this was what she displayed, we said no it's much more violent than that and she is completely unresponsive during the episodes with a blank stare on her face but the doctor still insisted they were sure this was what was wrong with her.

As they said if they were seizures they would happen during the day too, and that because she is developing well they don't think they're seizures. But the doctor told us they would run tests on her to be on the safe side such as an ultrasound of her soft spot and to be sent for an EEG at north Manchester general hospital on an urgent basis as well as testing her blood. After several hours of waiting they came back with another doctor who said they wouldn't run the tests until they had seen a video of it happening and to come back in a month. This is after already waiting 6 weeks for an appointment at the hospital and receiving nothing, and speaking to our GP who is concerned about her safety and agrees it needs further investigation. After being in A&E for 5 hours we left with no explanation of what is wrong with her and a blood test which took the doctor 15 minutes and help from another person to carry out as they didn't know what equipment they needed. While we were there she was also offered food with milk in by a nurse when it clearly states she has a milk allergy in her notes. The morning after this we took her back to our GP who has now scheduled her for an appointment with a specialist (paediatric neurologist out of the area) and agreed it is not benign myoclonus and it is becoming increasingly dangerous to wait to have this investigated.

This is not the only time we have had a bad experience with A&E or the children's observation and assessment unit at this hospital. They need to stop treating all new parents as if they are just over reacting and are panicking over nothing, and it is wrong to rule a condition out completely without even testing for what it could be. We left that day with no answers at all and still just as worried as we were to begin with.

Story from NHS Choices

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