"Very upset with the service for my son at Dewsbury Hospital"

About: Dewsbury & District Hospital / Accident and emergency Dewsbury & District Hospital / Paediatrics Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as a relative),

My son, who is 4 years old, suffered a 2nd febrile convulsion at the end of February.

After calling the ambulance we were taken to Dewsbury Hospital A&E. The ambulance crew were very friendly and even carried my son down the stairs and to the ambulance.

However in the A&E, I found the nurses and doctors very careless. My son had a very high temperature but they left him completely covered when they should have stripped him to allow him to cool down, they made us wait four and half hours for a doctor to find out what had caused the temperature.

At 12:15am the doctor came to see my son and very lazily and carelessly checked him, and as expected could not find the reason for the temperature, so they moved us to the childrens ward.

When we entered the childrens ward, I was surprised to find the ward completely empty, apart from another child and his mum. I was pleased, thinking that we would be seen immediately, but hours went past, and at 2.30am I was feeling very tired and sleepy and my son was becoming hot again, and since we had come to the ward, no staff had come to see him, if he was okay or not. They didn't even see his face.

So I went to tell the nurse on duty (who was sat talking to her boyfriend or husband for an hour) to come and check his temparature. She came and checked him and told us that the doctor was on her way from the delivery suite. I sat back on the chair, hoping that if it was going to take long they would at least tell us to stay the night and give me a bed.

But another two hours passed. My husband was starting work at 4:30am and he was very tired after sitting on that chair for so long, so I told him to go home and once again asked the nurses how long it would take, as I would rather go home and see our GP in the morning if it was going to take long, but they said the doctor had rushed back to the delivery ward, but would come back soon.

So I sent my husband home and decided to wait another hour.

It reached 5am, my eyes were hurting after trying to keep them open, I couldn't let myself fall asleep in that chair, as no one was checking on my son, I had to do it myself. I would have rather been at home. After having enough, I couldn't wait any longer, I knew they were going to stretch it to the morning.

So I picked up my son who was asleep, got all our bags which had our clothes in (in case we had to stay), and walked out of the room. I was very angry, I had never seen such carelessness before and had least expected it to happen in our hospital.

I told the nurses that I wasn't waiting any longer and would rather see our GP. Seeing this the nurses became tensed and told me to wait a while. When I refused and started walking to the door, the nurse came to me and asked me to fill in a form. I sat down next to the fish tank and waited for her, just then the doctor arrived apologising for the delay.

I was shocked! All the time they kept telling me she was occupied with other patients, how could she have left a patient then? I understood it then, that they had just made me wait for no reason, or was there a reason - maybe it was racism? I don't know. We had never been ignored like this before, how could they do this to a 4 year old child? They had behaved like we were not even in that room. I was disgusted, how could things change to this extent in less than a year?

In March 2008, my son had suffered his first fit which was also due to tonsilitis, after that he had high temperatures but I had managed to cool him down. But the staff then had been very pleasent and very helpful, the ward was full of children at the time but the nurses had time to see all the children from time to time. And they knew the wait for the doctor would be long, so they had told us to stay the night and the doctor would see my son in the morning, but all through the night, the nurses had come to check on my son, I didn't have to look after him at all. I had been very happy when we had left the hospital, I thought our hospital was the best!

I had never dreamed that our experience this time would have been this awful, or I would have never brought him to this hospital, I would have taken him elsewhere.

I know that next time for any health problem, we will not go to Dewsbury hospital ever again.

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Response from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

The Trust is extremely concerned to hear about the distressing experience which you describe. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your family to discuss in detail the concerns expressed. Please contact Paul Jepson, Patient Liaison Manager, on (01924 213684) at your convenience, so we can progress this.

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