"Sent home with 18 month old baby at 22:30 from Rotherham"

About: Rotherham Hospital / Paediatrics

(as the patient),

My GP referred my daughter to the Paediatricians at Rotherham hospital after our appointment at 1530, we arrived at the hospital at 1600. On the childrens ward we were seen and 'admitted' by a student nurse who was very thorough and I asked if we would be stopping over night as I would have to arrange baby sitters for my other child and overnight essentials for me and my baby. The student asked the staff nurse supervising her and was told I would have to wait for the Doctor to assess my daughter. At 1700 a Doctor came to see my daughter and said she would need some blood tests carrying out, I asked again if we were likely to be stopping in and again this decision couldn't be made until the blood results returned. We had to wait a further 45 minutes for local anaesthetic cream to work on my daughters hands before the Doctor returned to take bloods (1820). When the Doctor returned I informed them that my daughter hadn't improved at all whilst being on the ward and that she usually went to bed just before 1900 so would we be stopping in - again I was told this was dependant on the blood results. At 2045 my daughter was becoming more than irritable after not having an afternoon nap and going past her usual bed time, I asked the nurse if the blood results were back and was told yes but we would have to wait for the night staff to have their 'hand-over' and they would then sort it out, I asked them if there would be a chance that my daughter would have to stay overnight and they 'weren't sure'. At 2115 the night nursing staff emerged and began turning lights off in bays and settling the 'inpatient children down for the night. My daughter had been put in a bay with 2 other young children who were obviously stopping overnight and wanting to go to sleep but my daughter was still running up and down as we were unsure if she was stopping or not so unsure if she should be put to sleep in the allocated cot or not. I asked the night nurses about the blood results and was told that the Doctors were now in hand over and would be a while before they came to review my daughter, they again couldn't say if the blood results were ok or not. At 2220 a Doctor eventually returned to the ward, looked at the blood results then came to give us the good news that they were all normal and I could take my daughter home!! Slight problem 1 - when we originally arrived the sun was out and it was a lovely sunny day, when we were sent home the rain was coming down in bucket loads and we were in shorts and t-shirt and my daughter was still no better than when we arrived. The nursing staff offered a blanket and informed me we would have to exit using the main reception. Slight problem 2 - I was parked almost outside the maternity entrance but was reassured that security would follow me with their state of the art cameras to my car as I walked all the way round the hospital perimeter. I said I wasn't happy about this and eventually they opened the maternity doors.

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Response from Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 16 years ago
Submitted on 31/07/2007 at 11:17

Thank you for posting your comments. I am sorry to hear that your experience was the cause of so much concern.

We endeavour to keep children in hospital for as short a time as possible. Many children will stay only a few hours and then be discharged home. However it is not always possible to be able to say categorically that a child can be discharged until e.g. the results of blood tests are known and have been reviewed by medical staff. It can take several hours for the results of blood tests to be available.

The maternity entrance doors are locked at 10pm to maintain the security of patients overnight. I am pleased to hear that the staff did appreciate your predicament and facilitated your exit.

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