"Nurse dismissive when we told her about NHS Direct"

About: NHS Direct NHS Trust Torbay Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

Last Wednesday may daughter fell really ill during the night. She had a terribly sore throat, a red rash and was becoming breathless. It was 5am and I was really concerned about her, so I called NHS Direct for advice.

They advised me that my daughter may have a serious infection of her tonsils and that the best thing to do would be to go get her checked out at an A&E.

On arrival a nurse did the usual checks--blood pressure etc.. Frustratingly, the nurse was quite dismissive of my daughter's condition and when I informed her that we had been referred by NHS Direct, she said: don't you mean NHS Redirect"?

When the Doctor arrived to examine my daughter, he too was very dismissive and made me felt uncomfortable and stupid for being there. Again I heard animosity towards NHS Direct. This experience was confounded by the fact that the same Doctor was perfectly lovely and caring towards a patient next to us. Inequality of care or what? In the end the Doctor told us to go to GP prescribed a dose of penicillin.

After not being asked about or assessed for reactions to penicillin, my daughter became swollen and developed a red rash all over her body whilst at college a few days later. This was an allergic reaction to the penicillin and required my daughter had to take antihistamines to reduce the swelling.

I was simply concerned about my daughter's health and I don't expect to be made to feel stupid and subjected to the animosity of NHS infighting, whilst receiving care for my daughter.

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Response from Deborah Lannon, Communications Officer, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear that your experience fell below the standard of care we strive to provide. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experience with you so we may try our best to resolve it.

If you are happy to talk to us about this, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) so they can look into your situation in more detail.

A PALS Officer is available in person, Monday to Friday, between 10.00am and 2.00pm. You can contact them by calling 01803 655838 or on our 24 hour freephone number 0800 02 82 037. They can also be contacted by Text Phone on 01803 654742, by FAX on 01803 617162, or by email (your email will go direct to our PALS Service).

We look forward to hearing from you so that we can address the issues you have raised.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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Response from Caron Brittain, National Clinical Governance Manager, NHS Direct

Dear Sir/Madam

I am sorry that you have had a less than satisfactory experience and I hope your daughter’s health is improving.

If you have any concerns about the assessment that was undertaken by NHS Direct I will be happy to look into this for you. If you would like me to instigate an investigation I will need a few details from you, those being your daughter’s name, address, date of birth and the telephone number you called NHS Direct on. Please could you provide these details via our ‘Contact Us’ facility at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk and not via the Patient Opinion website; this will ensure your confidentiality is maintained.

I would just like to add my thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback to us.

Yours sincerely

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