"Care and compassion in Causeway and Antrim EDs"

About: Antrim Area Hospital / Accidents & Emergency Causeway Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

Last Friday afternoon I came home from work and went up to check on my son. He had been diagnosed with severe tonsillitis and been on oral antibiotics for nearly a week. He still looked dreadful, he wasn't eating and I felt he wasn't improving as I worked previously as a nurse in ED I was really concerned he had developed quinsy so I took him to our local ED in the Causeway hospital.

Well from triage to being blue lighted via Ambulance to Antrim ED with quinsy, the care he received in Causeway ED was fantastic. They recognised how ill he was, started him on fluids, antibiotics etc and referred him to ENT in Antrim. 

But for me, the mother of a boy who had recently turned 18, the biggest thing I have to be thankful for is the compassion shown by the staff to allow me to stay with him. He couldn't speak so he couldn't answer their questions, he was petrified so the fact that I could hold his hand and explain what was happening brought us both a lot of comfort. 18 year olds though technically adults, when sick and scared still need their mummies. Big thank you especially to Nurse in Charge Lisa, Nurse Natalie and Doctor Ben who were all amazing.

When he arrived in Antrim ED initially I was not allowed in with him, he was texting me from his room asking why I couldn't be with him and that he was sore and scared. After a discussion with the Nurse in Charge Duane he very kindly moved my son into a room that I could access from the waiting room to reduce risk and I will be eternally grateful for that.

The procedure he had to go through was complicated and didn't go as planned. It took over 6 attempts and over an hour to lance the abscess and the 4 inch needle going into the back of his throat traumatised him let alone the scalpel. Dr Jonny the ENT doctor was very patient with my son as he could see he was scared. Nurse Laura from the SNG was great getting him sorted for home.

I am part of this wonderful NHS family, we don't always get it right but when you really need us like my son did last week, we will take care of you. My son told me he could not have gone through what he did last week without me by his side, and in fact he has now decided he needs to marry a nurse like his mum, lol.

At present we are being very restrictive on visiting within the NHS and with Covid I can understand why. However there are times and situations where we need to use professional judgement and compassion to patients and families to let them support their loved ones in true times of need.

To the six staff mentioned in this story I will be eternally grateful, and to the 2 lovely receptionists who showed me kindness whilst I waited in Antrim waiting room, thank you so much, I was past myself x.


Response from Cathy McCoy, Assistant Clinical Service Manager, Emergency Care, Northern Health and Social Care Trust 2 weeks ago
Cathy McCoy
Assistant Clinical Service Manager, Emergency Care,
Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Submitted on 13/11/2020 at 17:27
Published on Care Opinion on 16/11/2020 at 14:35

Hi CLC (Mum)

Thank you so much for the lovely feedback, I will ensure that this is passed on to Duane and the Admin staff. We try to understand the difficulties of being a relative in the midst of the pandemic but it is not always easy.

Whether your baby is two or fifty two you still have the same feelings and I am delighted that Duane and the team were able to facilitate you being at the bedside at this traumatic time in your son's life.

We wish him a speedy recovery.

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Response from Natalie McLaughlin, Assistant Clinical Services Manager - Emergency Medicine, Minor Injuries Unit, Northern Health and Social Care Trust last week
Natalie McLaughlin
Assistant Clinical Services Manager - Emergency Medicine, Minor Injuries Unit,
Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Submitted on 18/11/2020 at 18:56
Published on Care Opinion on 19/11/2020 at 09:38

Hello CLC

Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to express your thanks and gratitude to the staff, during your and your son's experience in Causeway ED.

Being a parent myself, I can only empathise with how worried both you and your son were in relation to your son's condition. Therefore, it is reassuring to know that staff, will do their utmost to accommodate relatives, although this has become a challenge in the current climate.

All staff have been working extremely hard through these difficult times, and it will be great to share this lovely feedback with them, both individually and as a team.

I wish your son a speedy recovery.

Thank you again for sharing your experience.

Kind Regards


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