"Shamed by Safeguarding Children Protocol at LGI"

About: Leeds General Infirmary / Accident and emergency Leeds General Infirmary / Paediatrics

(as a relative),

My little girl was hopping from paving slab to paving slab when she tripped and fell. She cried and said her ankle hurt. It was late and she had just come home from swimming so we gave her children's pain relief and put her to bed, deciding to reassess things in the morning.

The next morning she was still in pain so wife and I cancelled work, cancelled a clinic (I work in the NHS in Leeds) and went to A&E at Leeds General Infirmary. In the waiting area my daughter was smiling and then said her leg no longer hurt.

Assessment time - I told the triage nurse "I think my daugher has broken her leg" - so she instructed me that she had to be weighed and attempted to make her stand on some scales - "she must be weighed". My daughter screamed. Again later they said - "she must be weighed" - we suggested holding her and subtracting our weight - scales then put so close to the wall that my wife couldn't get onto them and then nearly fell attempting to hold child and balance whilst nose against the wall. The nurse then wrote the figures on her hand and attempting some Maths before a doctor assisted.

Xray - fantastic team - very thorough, very professional.

Result - a spiral fracture to the tibia. My daughter's leg was available for all to see with a tiny bruise less than a 1p piece and no other indication.

Daughter stayed overnight in hospital having had a plaster cast put on - all indications fine so time to go home - but no.

A nurse approached us in the middle of the ward, and in front of other patients said that because our daughter's injury was 'suspicious', it is the same for everyone that we must see the paediatric doctors - this was announced in front of the whole ward.

It then transpires that a doctor who I found aggressive and very rude from the day before had recorded delay in the injury being seen, had failed to record that no brusing was evident, and the nurse seemed to think that it was appropriate to announce things to the whole ward.

Paediatric team arrived - very pleasant but I think badly set up by the nurse's announcement.

They said they couldn't see if there were any bruises on her leg because of the plaster - which felt like they were almost implying that we had hidden her leg by putting a plaster cast on it!! - the fact that it was available for all to see in A&E for several hours was ignored.

They recorded 'several bruises on her other leg' - 3 tiny bruises where her little brother had hit her with a toy car, she had walked into the edge of her scooter and fallen off a bike at nursery - do people have kids?

No one had informed us that we were to be seen by the childrens' doctors, the only reason that we had sat in hospital for almost a day was to go through this shaming process, loudly announced by a nurse and both my daughter and ourselves had informed two sets of doctors prior how the incident had happened. No information, no consent and I feel that there were massive breaches of dignity and confidentiality.

I suspect over 20 people saw us through the whole LGI process - 18 of them more than fantastic - but we were left feeling shamed and devastated by the process of coming into contact with the LGI.

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Response from Administrative Support Assistant, NHS Leeds

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding.

I was sorry to read about the problems that you and your family experienced in the A & E department.

I shall pass your comments onto the Patient Relations Manager at the hospital.

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Response from NHS Leeds

The Patient Experience Team at LTHT is very sorry to hear about your experience. Your comments have been passed to the A&E Service; however they will be unable to contact you directly. If you would like to discuss the issues in person, and confidentially, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0113 2067168 or email patient.relations@leedsth.nhs.uk

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Update posted by Parent (a relative)

Thank you for your reply on todays date - 4th July 2011.

Please note that this story was posted on 28th October 2010 which is 8 months ago so probably not so valuable to go into it now.