"Children's centre review"

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

We recently took our 15-month old son to the children's centre for observation. When we arrived the doctor wasn't there, which probably made it difficult for the nurses to give us information, but we felt that we were kept in the dark about what would happen. They tried to put a plastic tag around my son's leg but it was too small, so they put it around his wrist. It was still too tight and obviously uncomfortable. When we cut it off at home it had cut into his wrist and left deep marks for some hours afterwards. We wondered why the children's ward can't use cloth wristbands, or at least make sure they are adjustable. If we had been admitted, the band would have been really painful for our son over time. They offered us food for our son and for me as I was still breastfeeding, but when our baby's food arrived it came with adult cutlery. We had to ask for a teaspoon from the lady who brought tea around so we could feed him. It seemed really odd for a children's ward that they didn't had have cutlery for children, and no one seemed to think there was anything wrong with feeding him with an adult's fork. Also, the food didn't seem appropriate for a 15-month old baby – chilli con carne or sausages and mash – both in adult portions, on adult size, crockery plates, and with a large portion of chocolate pudding and chocolate sauce. I appreciate that maybe there is only one offering for the whole hospital and it can't be tailored for children but the pudding especially seemed wrong. They did add a yoghurt for the baby, which was nice. Overall, we felt that the nurse's made little, if any, effort to interact with our baby, or with us. In contrast with the doctor, who examined our son while he was playing on the floor ("Don't move him, I'll come to him"), played with him and managed to check everything including his ears without complaint, the nurses had him sit still on my lap and checked his ears without speaking to or playing with him, and he howled the entire time. The doctor was excellent, he told us what was going on and made a great effort to make my son feel at home and comfortable. They definitely helped our son, but I wouldn't go back there given the choice. The nurses seemed more interested in watching Britain's Got Talent than anything and for a ward designed for children, it didn't seem very geared up, or sympathetic to them.

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Response from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Hello there, Many thanks for taking the time to get in touch with us to share your feedback. We're sorry to hear you about your experience of some of the staff and facilities at the children's centre was so poor. We would like to pass your comments on to the department and look into them further so we can improve services for future patients. In order to do this, would you be happy to contact our patient liaison team (PALS) so they can take a few more details? You can call them on 0800 019 3282 or email pals.gloucestershirehospitals@glos.nhs.uk Many thanks again for getting in touch with us. Best wishes The team at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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