"We had to take our 22 months son to the..."

About: Sheffield Children's Hospital

What I liked

We had to take our 22 months son to the A&E as he had a head injury from a fall on a Tues night. The A&E waiting area was not bad, the soft play area was a good idea until my son came off it with someone else's blood on his sleeves. Unfortunately, some parents of the children do not care to read the instructions at soft play area or heed them, resulting in a fairly eeky mess hidden among the soft play pieces. I love the idea of the soft play area but wished there was a way to keep it clean at all times.

The toilet at A&E was ok, could be better but at least it was a working toilet.

The waiting/observation room in the inner treatment areas was nice and clean.

First consultant we saw was very nice and patient with my squirmy boy. We also saw his colleague who tried his best to help to get my son to sleep so we can do a CT scan.

X-ray and CT scan radiographer was very nice- she was very clear what we had to do, so X-ray whilst traumatic as we had to held our boy down firmly was quick.

CT scan once I managed to get my son to sleep, went well, she again was clear in her instructions and made it all painless.

To be honest, am not sure who were the nurses and who were Health Care Assistants but they were all pretty nice when taking vital readings from my son.

We had to go back on Thurday as son started vomiting lots. They did more checks on my son and we were in observation till afternoon. Unfortunately, we did have to go back in the night as he kept on vomiting.

This time, the Drs we saw were ok, but they did not let us know what they wanted us to do. So we kept our boy up to keep feeding fluids as instructed and did not know a second scan was ordered, so he needed to be asleep. If we had known earlier, we would have done it sooner.

At 1.30am, we were admitted to acute assessment ward but no one told us and we just hang around till a nurse abruptly told us to move.

The ward Dr and staff was brilliant. So was the Neurosurgeon Registrar who explained everything

What could be improved

I know budget cuts are hitting hard, but cleanliness can be improved on at waiting areas and toys offered to cut down cross infections. Perhaps disinfectant wipes can be offered for any parent wishing to give the play area and toys a wipe.

Communication between medical staff and parents could be better although granted that may not be possible at all times but it would be nice to let the parents know what has been decided and what we can do to facilitate treatments faster. I have to be honest that I don't know most of the Drs and nurses who dealt with us apart from the first consultant and his colleague on first night. Not everyone actually introduced who they were. It would be nice to place names to the faces of the staff who have done their best for us.

At Acute Assessment ward, we did not know what to do for own drinks/food etc. Or where the canteen was. The staff should remember that not everyone is well versed to the workings/rules on the ward, so some pointers will be good. But the ward was clean although hot.

Anything else?

All in all, it is a good hospital and I am glad we have one accessible to Sheffield residents.

To all of the staff involved in the care of my son thank you very much for everything! I hope you know that we do appreciate your care and help.

Special thanks to the A&E Consultant who was so patient and thorough and the nice Neurosurgeon Registrar who came to see us the next day to discharged us and told us what is happening and why which was so helpful.

As parents, we would rather not be at A&E or hospital but it is nice to know that our children will be well looked after if the inevitable accident/injury/illness happens.

I hope the high level of care will continue!

Story from NHS Choices

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