"Paediatric care - poor"

About: Croydon University Hospital / Paediatrics

(as a relative),

My 3 year old daughter was admitted and quickly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She was not seen by a diabetic specialist for 2 days, in this time she was administered the wrong type of insulin twice by ward staff and traumatised by the 5 attempts to insert a cannula in to her arm.

The wrong lancets were used to obtain blood samples from her and despite bringing this to the attention of staff on three separate occasions my concerns were ignored despite NICE recommendations and manufacturer guidance referred to by me. The neonatal blue and pink lancets are for neonatal and laboratory testing where large amounts of blood are needed - do not let them use these lancets on your childs fingers. Whilst no long term harm will be done my daughters bed sheets needed changing repeatedly due to the volume of blood spilt on them unnecessarily. The manufacturer has confirmed they will send a representative to the hospital to correct this error.

By the end of her stay she was inevitably terrified of needles. My husband (also type 1 diabetic) requested her early discharge as he felt she was in danger in there. It will take several months to undo the mental damage done in the paediatrics ward and as she will need to have injections for the rest of her life, I feel this could have been dealt with more sensitively.

Information given by the paediatric nurse on the ward was patronising and borderline offensive although treatment as an outpatient is vastly better. The literature we were discharged with was appaling, a box filled with propaganda by the drug companies - thank god for the diabetes trust and the internet.

We have, since discharging her, contacted the JDRF who provide assistance to diabetic clinics for young children with diabetes, including a teddy with marked injection sites for the child to practice on. Mayday paediatrics had not heard of this. Why not?

We also discovered a device which hides the needle from the child and takes much of the distress out of injecting. This is not available from the NHS and needs to be brought from the manufacturer directly (Novonordisk). It only costs £10 including delivery. Again despite its use by NICE in clinical trials for the assessment of pain perception and the positive results seen, Mayday paediatrics had never heard of it.

Please take any necessary steps to improve the paediatrics treatment of children with chronic illness such as diabetes within Mayday as my child is likely to need medical help throughout her childhood years and at present I have no confidence in the service provided.

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