"Would hope that on another occasion I could be..."

About: Lister Hospital

What could be improved

I arrived at children's A&E with my baby son (6 months old) at 7.20am last Saturday morning - he was having problems breathing, cyring constantly and in great distress. I was also very upset, in distress and exhausted. As I came into the ward I was met by a senior member of nursing staff who at once asked me why hadn't I gone to the QEII (I live in Welwyn) and why had I not taken him to the GP - these questions not only made me feel as though I wasn't wanted but that I was wasting her time which just upset me further. At the time a&e appeared quiet and whilst we waited for him to be seen I could hear the nurses chatting about the latest models of mobile phones which just added to my frustration. Said member of staff then sent us round to the out-of-hours GP on the grounds that he didn't need to be in a&e who thankfully realised that he needed to be seen by a paediatrician and 3 hours later we were back where we started in children's a&e. Thanks to the excellent service provided by the paediatrician - he not only reassured me but did a thorough check of my son. We were eventually admitted to Bluebell Ward for 2 nights where we received the appropriate care needed. My concern is that attitudes like that put mothers off seeking medical help when they're worried - where a baby is concerned, care should be given no matter what. I knew he needed to be seen urgently and not just by a GP and would like to think that hospital staff can be more supportive of worried mothers instead of adding to their guilt and distress.

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Responses

Response from Lister Hospital

You are right to be concerned about your initial reception by the childrens A&E staff, although we were pleased to see that you and your son got the right treatment in the end and we do hope that he is now on the mend. That said, however, we very much want to follow up what happened initially and wondered if you would get in touch with us by e-mail (generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net) so that the matter can be investigated thoroughly.

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