"Childrens ward"

About: Derriford Hospital

My 17 month old grandson was brought to the hospital on friday 22 May. He had squirted kitchen cleaner into his face during the afternoon. His parents live in Bridgwater, but had planned to see us in Plympton. The cleaner was out of reach, but he dragged his small chair over to reach it. His mother immediately held him under the shower for a while. He seemed better so she travelled down. During the evening his eye became very red, and he was listless. He was showered at our house, and again seemed to improve slightly. The red eye did not improve, and he would not drink - normally he drinks well. We brought him to A&E where we waited in the children's section. A&E were exceptionally busy and we had a long wait, during which he was violently sick. This prompted the doctor to see him, and advised that he would be in the children's ward overnight, and his eye syringed. I left my daughter, in what I thought was capable hands, taking the sick covered clothes with me. The plan being to wash and dry clothes and return in the morning. In the event his eye was not syringed. At 4 in the morning my daughter was told that he was being sent home. She does not know Derriford hospital, nor its strange arrangement where the main entrance is on level 6. The staff appeared not to understand her request for assistance. The only bit she was acquainted with was A&E, and assumed this was the normal entrance. When she found a taxi phone she requested it for A&E. It took her about 20 mins wandering around with a baby only clad in a nappy , and her cardigan to find A&E Surely it would noty have been too much trouble for somebody to direct her to a normal phone, when she could have called her parents, and helped her to the entrance. This undermines all my previous good experiences with Derriford

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Response from Genny Turner, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good morning,

We are very sorry your daughter and grandson did not receive the standard of care we would expect in this situation. Sometimes plans do change and children no longer require admission but we would normally expect staff to try and help parents arrange transport home. We are sorry this doesn’t appear to have happened in this case. I would be very happy to discuss this issue with either the parents or the grandparents, please email anitadykes@nhs.net to arrange a meeting or telephone conversation. Thank you for taking the time to feedback using Patient Opinion, we are always striving to improve our serve and appreciate the opportunity to do this.

Matron Anita Dykes

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