"Problems on ward C2"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / Paediatrics

(as a parent/guardian),

My 13 month old daughter was admitted from a&e on a sunday evening, with what the Drs thought was croup. She was to be observed for 2 hours. In that 2 hours she saw a nurse for a couple of minutes and a Dr for a few minutes, all of this was done in the waiting area on C2. It was decided at midnight that our daughter was to be kept in overnight with view to discharge the following morning, however the nurses failed to recognise that our daughter was having increased difficulty in breathing.

The Dr saw her at 5am and administered 2 nebulisers. At 7am a nurse from an agency came on shift and was assigned to our daughter. Well thank goodness for her as she was the only one who recognised that our daughter was in trouble. While the staff on c2 seemed  happy to 'watch and wait', this ITU could see she was getting worse. She contacted ITU and it was decided she needed intubation and intensive care at another hospital.

On our return to Russell's hall the following Thursday, we were placed in a side room (due to our daughter being diagnosed with Flu A), this was fine and very much appropriate for her care and protection of others. It was at this point her care wasn't great. While the nurses were lovely, we were just left in this room. Her continual monitoring up until now was suddenly changed to 4 hourly, bearing in mind she was still on oxygen and still had many effects of the medicine used to put her to sleep. At 6: 30pm, we were asked when she had her last dose of tamiflu (why should we be asked as parents? ) we know full well the care she got at ITU at the other hospital was excellent and knew they had sent down all the relevant information, including drug charts. They then stated that she may miss a dose of Tamils because the pharmacy shut at 7pm. We had been there since 2!

On the night shift there was only 1 nurse for the whole station. This is not fair on the nurse and unacceptable when caring for sick children. This was the same situation for 3 nights in a row.

I also noted that while we were barrier nursed in a side room, the infection control, sign did not go up until 24 hours after our arrival. I also noted that no one on the first day wore aprons, or gloves, or masks to protect themselves, as well, I never saw handwashing after contact with our daughter and there never seemed to be cleaning of equipment in between patients.

We were discharged on the Sunday with no mention of follow up for her, bearing in mind she almost lost her life, was ventilated for 2 days due to influenza type A, required oxygen, was told she was anaemic and potentially needed her immune system checking. We have no idea if our daughter is going to be seen in the future.

I work in the NHS and  I'm shocked at to what has gone on, maybe I expect more as I work with the NHS, I don't know. I usually praise the hospital, but the care my daughter has received, I am not of the same opinion anymore. In future I'm inclined to seek help elsewhere as while the nursing staff we were treated by are caring and lively, it seems to me that their knowledge of illness and safe practice when caring for individual children and recognising an emergency situation leaves a lot to be desired.

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Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback about your experience of our hospital. We always aim to offer the highest standards of care and so we are very sorry that we fell short of those standards during your visits.

You have raised a number of concerns and we would welcome the opportunity to look into them further. From the detail you have given, we believe that a member of our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) has already tried to make contact with you. They can be contacted on Freephone 0800 07301510 or via email PALS@dgh.nhs.uk