"Waiting in children's casualty for antibiotics"

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary

(as a relative),

My baby son had an operation on his hand. We were shown how to change the dressing, but warned the wound might get infected. We could tell that if the skin went pink. By Sunday it had gone pink. They said if that happened we should go to casualty and get some antibiotics. So I went. It isn't far and I know my way around. Parking on Sunday night is not a problem.

At MRI there is a special room in casualty for children. There are toys, but no windows. It was pretty full. There was no ventilation. Most children came with two parents, and often some brothers and sisters. Most of them were quite ill. There weren't enough seats. My baby wasn't ill, so he was happy playing with the toys. I knew what was going on so I wasn't anxious. But the room was really filthy. My standards of hygiene are pretty low, but it was enough to worry me. Babies play on the floor and they put everything in their mouths.

We saw a nurse within 5 minutes. She understood what we wanted, but we had to see the doctor. We waited about 4 hours for the doctor. He was very pleasant and authorised a course of antibiotics.

I don't understand why the nurse could not have authorised the antibiotics and sent us home.

Nor do I understand why sick children are made to wait in such unpleasant conditions.

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