Mother complains to hospital

A MOTHER said she endured an unnecessary 22-hour hospital ordeal after her three-year-old daughter suffered a head injury.In the week West Suffolk Hospital regained its three star status in the Government NHS performance tables, Brenda McLoughlin of Bacton, near Stowmarket, claims her daughter Katie was left for 20 minutes with a potentially serious head injury before a triage nurse assessed the damage.

A MOTHER said she endured an unnecessary 22-hour hospital ordeal after her three-year-old daughter suffered a head injury.

In the week West Suffolk Hospital regained its three star status in the Government NHS performance tables, Brenda McLoughlin of Bacton, near Stowmarket, claims her daughter Katie was left for 20 minutes with a potentially serious head injury before a triage nurse assessed the damage.

Then the skin glue used to seal the cut came undone just hours after they left the hospital.

Little Katie was then made to wait at the hospital for a further three hours before finally seeing a consultant the next day, she said.


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She said: "I was concerned the head injury could have been worse and I was made to wait for 20 minutes before anyone saw Katie.

"It turned out to be just a minor ailment but the hospital had no idea how serious it could have been.

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"Katie had never been to an A&E department before and for us to have to trek back and forth to the hospital has left a bad taste in her mouth."

The performance tables, published on Wednesday , revealed the hospital met eight of the nine key targets set by the Government after being stripped of its three-star status last spring.

Hospital chief executive John Parkes said the three star status reflected the quality of service they were providing.

But Mrs McLoughlin said: "As a human resources consultant, I advise businesses on performance management and achievement of Investors in People standards.

"The incompetence, mismanagement and lack of redress we have experienced from this NHS Trust would not be accepted in any other industry."

On June 30 Katie fell over and cut her forehead and Mrs McLoughlin took her to the Bury St Edmunds hospital.

Katie was eventually given skin glue, commonly used for treating minor cuts, and allowed home but returned to the hospital with her mother when the cut started bleeding again.

When the glue finally fell out, Mrs McLoughlin, who had put plaster strips on the wound, telephoned her GP who said the glue had not been applied properly.

The GP contacted hospital staff who asked Mrs McLoughlin and Katie to come back straight away and the pair waited for three hours. They were seen the next day by a consultant who Mrs McLoughlin described as very professional.

Mrs McLoughlin added: "It was an extremely busy night but there only seemed to be one doctor and none on-call. This doesn't seem good enough.

"I asked the nurses for a copy of their complaints procedure but they said they didn't know where it was or the name of the hospital's chief executive so I could write to him. This was ridiculous. There are excellent medical staff at the hospital but the management is appalling in my opinion."

A hospital spokesman said: "The trust is very sorry Mrs McLoughlin felt she didn't get the service in the A&E departments she should have.

"We have received a complaint from her and we are now in the process of investigating the details behind the complaint. She will receive a full response when our investigations have been completed.

"With regards to training, all nursing staff working in the A&E department are trained in A&E procedures and after 11pm, there will be only one doctor in the department although there are others in the building."

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