"100% Negative experience of children's ward"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

What I liked

I am writing about the experience whilst my baby was admitted so whilst I was not the patient, I was living in the hospital with him at the time.

We had our own room and I was able to stay with him overnight. Some of the nurses were sweet but the rest of our time in this hospital on the Toni & Guy ward was terrible.

What could be improved

Doctors on call on this ward overnight are also working in A&E and there was 5 occasions during our 3wk stay where nurses bleeped the doctor and they did not show up.

On the 5th day I asked 2 doctors for Dioralyte as my 1 month baby ( had cardiac op and was still in recovery was transferred and admitted at KINGS with severe continuous vomiting)and had not kept any milk down. I was refused (1 doctor did not even know what it was) although this is standard NHS practice when caring for infants with vomiting as it replenishes electrolytes. We had already tried Dioralyte (oral rehydration solution) during our previous stay at the Evelina Children's Hospital and he was able to keep that down. He was dehydrated, dry flaking skin on his lips plus not weeing as much and was grey and limp although strangly his tongue was spasmming but the doctors kept saying he wasn't dehydrated to cover their backs.

There is a way of working out dehydration levels in children to see how severely dehydrated they are by calculating weight loss. My baby's discharge weight at the Evelina was 2.55kg and by the time they weighed him here at Kings after I complained about his care, he weighed 2.38kg. A 7% weight loss which would mean moderate dehydration - at 10% it is considered severe.

Vomiting continuously plus diuretic meds meant that 2 days later he became hyponatremic.

He was also discharged from the surgical team as there "was nothing wrong with his internal organs on the x rays". Thank god we were transferred back to the Evelina as my son was later found to have a twisted stomach / gastric volvulus.

Anything else?

I had doctors insinuate my complaint about their care was due to post natal depression. I have complained to PALS and as you would expect the response was written perfectly to cover up any wrong doing with fluid charts magically found to include vomits and urine output when I was specifically told by one rude junior doctor to "record them myself".... And sections of my complaint were not mentioned at all. Their response took 6 months and although most of my complaint reffered to 3 junior doctors plus 1 Consultant responsible for them, strangely the "investigation" was headed up by a nurse?....hmmmmm

This is not a failing of all NHS hospitals - just Kings College London. We have been to a few london hospitals now and experienced great care from nurses and doctors who are not patronising or rude.

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Responses

Response from Cathy Varley, PALS Manager, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Concerns such as these are formally investigated through the NHS complaints procedure. Complainants are advised about what to do if they remain unhappy with their response and are supplied with the information that they may ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombundsman to review their complaint. Further information about the role of the Health Services Ombundsman can be obtained by calling 0345 015 4033 or from their website www.ombudsman.org.uk

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Response from King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

Concerns such as these are formally investigated through the NHS complaints procedure. Complainants are advised about what to do if they remain unhappy with their response and are supplied with the information that they may ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombundsman to review their complaint. Further information about the role of the Health Services Ombundsman can be obtained by calling 0345 015 4033 or from their website www.ombudsman.org.uk. If we can be of further assistance please contact our PALS team on 020 3299 3601.