"Childrens A&E."

About: Lister Hospital

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My 13 year old daughter was told by our GP to go straight to A&E after having appendix-related symptoms. We arrived there and waited for about 45 minutes before being assessed by triage. Her blood pressure was very high and her pain was getting worse (constantly holding her lower right abdomen crying).

About 30 minutes after that, a cannula was put into her hand, but nothing else was really going on. No beds were available. there were babies and children running around playing with toys and messing around. Don't get me wrong, I know young children and babies can deteriorate quickly and are hard to communicate with, but they were being seen first over my daughter who was in severe pain with a life-threatening illness! She had not been seen by a doctor yet and had no blood test until about another 30 minutes later and even then the results took an hour to come back!

They lost her notes, so had to redo her blood test and urine samples, too, just in a matter of a few hours (the transition between the day nurses and night shift nurses).

I strongly recommend that the children's A&E department reconsiders their priorities. Even if a child is young, I honestly don't think they should be seen first if they're quite happy playing with toys in the waiting area.

When my now in agony daughter was finally offered a bed after many hours of giggling and screaming kids, she had to be monitored over night. In the morning we were finally sent to the ward to have her appendix out after having to had to wait 4 hours for the team of doctors to come and see her.

One of my main points I am disgusted about is that the team apparently start at the top of the hospital and work their way down through the wards, then see children's A&E last- I had told my husband about this and he was fuming.

Considering my daughter also doesn't react well to vomiting and has a chornic severe pain disease, she was not very comfortable at all. The boy next to her was vomiting constantly with very exaggerated sound effects, the girl opposite was vomiting at the same time and the other girl diagonally had her head in a cardboard bowl heaving loudly and made my daughter extremely uncomfortable. We were told regularly that she was next to go for theater, but we seemed to be pushed to the bottom each time. It was 9:30pm when she was finally taken down, which in my opinion, is unacceptable for a child with appendicitis.

The nurses were very friendly down in A&E and reassured my daughter they'd take care of her, the same with those up on the ward. One thing I also found unhygienic was that just before we were discharged, one of the nurses changed the adhesive bandage on my daughters incision and didn't wear gloves or wash her hands beforehand.

All in all, the staff we fantastic, it was just the environment and system that really put my daughter's life at risk and needs to be resolved.

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Response from Lister Hospital

Being in hospital can be a worrying experience for anyone, especially children and their parents. Our children's A&E service enjoys a very good reputation generally, but clearly something here was not right and needs investigation. If you have not done so, would you please contact us via generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net so we can investigate all aspects of your daugther's care - from her time in A&E through to her surgery and time on the ward? It's important that our staff learn from the experiences of our patients and we hope that you give us the chance to do just that.

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