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"Son with Asthma"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency East Surrey Hospital / Respiratory medicine South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as a parent/guardian),

My two year old son has had 6 admissions on the Outwood ward, East Surrey Hospital, over the last year. He has now been diagnosed with asthma and appears to need hospital treatment for viral infections. This obviously is very upsetting as parents, but we feel the medical staff really take the stress away from us in caring for our son so well.

Every admission has varied slightly in his need of care and we have been delighted with the level of care that he has received on each occasion. On one particularly stressful admission, my son appeared to be deteriorating very quickly at home. We had to call 111 in the middle of the night who sent a very questionable paramedic to us who reluctantly took us to A and E. His very casual handover to the nursing staff meant we were sent to the waiting area in reception. They had believed there SATs monitor wasn’t working correctly on our son, but actually it was. Once we were re-assessed an hour or so later, it transpired my son needed urgent care and was almost transferred to intensive care on three occasions. This was a very busy night for the medical team with three seriously poorly children in the A and E department, but the medical team at the hospital were absolutely fantastic. The paramedic’s actions had really shaken me, and they had reassured us we had absolutely done the right thing. We were cared for so well, ensuring we were being looked after too during a very frightening time. Following this particular admission, my son has outpatient consultant care. His admissions into hospital are also taken with great care knowing that my son can deteriorate very quickly.

Now when our son is ill, we feel confident that the medical team will look after him and help get him back running on his feet in no time. We are obviously very sad that our son is being admitted so regularly, but the stress is taken away be the extremely high level of care he receives. This goes for our experience in the Children's A and E departure, CAU and Outwood ward. We realise at times there can be some waiting around and the nursing staff may need to prioritise their time with patients who need more one on one care with children who are extremely poorly. When that child is your own (which unfortunately once was our son), you realise waiting around and holding back is a little easier, compared to what those poor parents are going through.

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Response from Bill Kilvington, Assistant Director for Women and Children's, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Protectivemother

Thank you for taking the time to post about your's and your son's experience. I am really sorry to hear that he has been so poorly and understand how this must be a great worry for you. I am pleased that our hospital teams have been able to provide the care and reassurance that you need each time he has been unwell.

I will share your kind comments with the A&E, Ward and Medical Teams.

As you know, the ambulance service is a separate organisation, but I will also ask our complaints team to liaise with them so that they can at least be aware of your concerns.

If you wanted to follow this up with them more formally I can happily provide the appropriate contract details to you.

I hope that your son does not have too many problems in the future, but also that we continue to provide the best care as and when he needs our support.

Kind regards

Bill Kilvington

Associate Director - Women and Child Health

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Response from Louise Hutchinson, Head of Patient Experience, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Louise Hutchinson

Dear Protectivemother

Thank you very much for providing feedback about the care provided to your son recently. I can’t begin to imagine how worrying it must be when your little boy has asthmatic episodes that need hospital treatment, and I was sorry to read that on one occasion, one of our paramedics appeared to have a casual attitude to his condition.

I was so pleased to read that the hospital staff have been fantastic with him, though, and would like to do my best to ensure that our staff are aware of his diagnosis and provide equally fantastic care and reassurance should you need to call us again. It would therefore be very helpful to know where and when we attended your little boy so that we can look into the concerns you raise. It would also be helpful to have more details about his condition, so that should you have to call us again we would be aware in advance of his specific needs.

Please do therefore email our Patient Experience Team at, or call us on 0300 123 9242, at your convenience, so that we can look into your concerns and also put measures in place to ensure that any future experience you have with us is a much better one.

I do hope your little boy has recovered well from his last episode, and thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Yours sincerely, Louise Hutchinson

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