"does not meet expectations of children's care..."

About: Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Anything else?

recently my 5 month old grandson was referred to the childrens ward as he has been suffering with diarrhoea for 3 weeks, was running a high temperature, was uninterested in feeds and was generally unwell. when the student nurse finally got the equipment to work initial obs showed he also had high BP and pulse rate. we (my daughter and i) were left in the boiling hot waiting room for 5 and a half hours and virtually no communication occured between staff and my daughter. my grandson was eventually discharged at 10.30pm we were told he was fine and not to feed him milk just diorralite and to 'see how he went on'. the staff who did speak to my daughter were rude and looked at us like something that had been walked in.

next morning his temperature was still high, was still refusing to drink and had been awake most of the night crying so we returned and again sat in waiting room for hours with no communication between staff and parent. BP equipment was still not working properly and when a reading was finally obtained the staff member just walked away without communicating the results to my daughter who was extremely concerned...what happened to the NHS' promises for patient involvement?

Bearing in mind we arrived at the hospital at 9.30am my daughter was finally sent home with her son at 10.30 at night after again being told they did not know what was wrong with him sorry.

Today we returned to the hospital (3rd day running) as my grandson developed a rash all over his body in the space of an hour, still has diarrhoea and is very very sleepy and becoming increasingly unresponsive. sat in the sweltering waiting room for a couple of hours. this time with a child who had been diagnosed with meningitis who was only moved into a side room when its parents very loudly apologised for the risk that was being posed to the other children in the waiting room. this child had been sent home the day previously also.

obs were done and again not communicated back to the parents, and after a short wait of 5 hours we were sent home again told that they did not know what was wrong. is it too much to ask for the 'health professionals' in this establishment to look into what could be causing a young infant to have diarrhoea for almost a month, to be growing more and more lethargic and to be developing more and more symptoms by the day?

i am leaving this review so that other parents are able to make an informed choice as to whether or not DRI is a suitable place to take a sick child for treatment...in my opinion it is not and if my grandson has worsened again during the night i will be making a formal complaint and seeking help elsewhere.

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Responses

Response from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you very much for alerting us to your concerns. Our children’s matron acted immediately to look into the issues you raised and the team has reviewed your grandson’s notes and spoken to his mum to discuss the care he received and provide advice on next steps.

Obviously we can’t go into detail here about a particular patient’s care but, in general, it is often less traumatic for young children to be cared for in their home environment if medical treatment is not required. Parents also prefer this so, where it’s considered a safe option, discussions take place between medical staff and parents. In such circumstances, families will be offered ‘open access’ to return to hospital if they have any concerns or their child’s condition changes so they can have further specialist paediatric assessment and care.

You raise very important points about the need for good communication between hospital staff and parents so that families know what’s happening at all stages. You are quite right that we should have communicated better to keep your daughter informed and we are sorry this did not occur. We have discussed this with your daughter and apologised to her. The senior sister is looking at ways of improving communication with families.

We’re also sorry that you found the waiting room too hot. We try to ensure that it is a comfortable temperature but it can sometimes be difficult to get the heating exactly right when the weather changes rapidly, as at the weekend.

We hope you find this response helpful but if you would like to speak to us further about it, please contact Andrea Bliss, Matron for Children's Clinical Service Unit, via 01302 366666.

Response from Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Thank you very much for alerting us to your concerns. Our children’s matron acted immediately to look into the issues you raised and the team has reviewed your grandson’s notes and spoken to his mum to discuss the care he received and provide advice on next steps.

Obviously we can’t go into detail here about a particular patient’s care but, in general, it is often less traumatic for young children to be cared for in their home environment if medical treatment is not required. Parents also prefer this so, where it’s considered a safe option, discussions take place between medical staff and parents. In such circumstances, families will be offered ‘open access’ to return to hospital if they have any concerns or their child’s condition changes so they can have further specialist paediatric assessment and care.

You raise very important points about the need for good communication between hospital staff and parents so that families know what’s happening at all stages. You are quite right that we should have communicated better to keep your daughter informed and we are sorry this did not occur. We have discussed this with your daughter and apologised to her. The senior sister is looking at ways of improving communication with families.

We’re also sorry that you found the waiting room too hot. We try to ensure that it is a comfortable temperature but it can sometimes be difficult to get the heating exactly right when the weather changes rapidly, as at the weekend.

We hope you find this response helpful but if you would like to speak to us further about it, please contact Andrea Bliss, Matron for Children's Clinical Service Unit, via 01302 366666.

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