Calls for 24-hour A&E renewed as family thank Grantham hospital for saving father's life after he was stung by wasps
A Grantham family and health campaigners have renewed calls for a 24 hour accident and emergency unit after a father was stung by wasps and went into anaphylactic shock.
Karin Aston and daughter Gemma took to the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital Facebook pages to describe their terrifying experience recently.
The incident took place around 7pm, when the family found a wasp nest in the attic. Both father Paul and mum Karin were stung and within 20 minutes Paul had gone from feeling tingles in his hands, to going into shock, even losing consciousness momentarily.
Mum Karin said: “His airways were swelling up, his lips were blue.”
Daughter Gemma, who had managed to avoid becoming the wasps' next target, drove the pair to Grantham A&E, which is no longer 24-hours and closes at 6.30pm, arriving just after 7.15pm.
Despite the department being closed, staff took Paul straight into resuscitation where doctors saved him.
Paul later had another attack a few hours later and was again saved by NHS staff at the hospital.
“If we hadn’t got him to the hospital when we did it would have been a different story,” said Karin.
“The staff were amazing and saved his life, we can’t thank them enough.
“We need Grantham Hospital back to 24-hour… this doesn’t bear thinking about if we were any later, because waiting for an ambulance would have been to late. I would have lost my husband and my daughter her dad.”
Gemma, who said she had “driven like a crazy woman”, said she had “never been so terrified” in all her life.
“I went to Grantham Hospital because we still thought they were a 24-hour Urgent Treatment Centre. When we got there, they told us they were closed but due to the life and death situation dad was in, they took him in.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about what would have happened if we had to go to Newark or Lincoln.”
“We got my dad back, but the scary reality is, others may not be so lucky.”
The wasps nest was later dealt with by professional pest control expert Andy Priestley and dad Paul was “home, resting and now learning to live the rest of his life with this severe allergy”, confirmed Gemma.
Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital campaigner Jody Clark told health bosses at a recent Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group meeting that the incident highlighted the need for Grantham to have its A&E.
She said: “This shared experience highlights the life and death time-critical issues that can arise any time of day.
“We still have very limited provision overnight that is only accessible by 111, considering this chap could have died had it been a few hours later.”
She asked if it was “acceptable” that the situation had not improved five years on.
John Turner, chief executive of the CCG, said it was “not acceptable” that health organisations were still in a temporary service.
“Obviously this was a very difficult experience that these people had and I do hope that they’re fully recovered from that.
“I, and Andrew Morgan (United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust chief executive) have gone on record to say this is not an acceptable situation, and we’re working hard to remedy it as quickly as we as we possibly can.”
“It’s really really important that we go through an appropriate public consultation, exercise, about the future, permanent structure and configuration of urgent and emergency care services in Grantham hospital,” he added.
He said he was committed to bringing the consultation forward “as soon as possible”.
“I’m clear and I’ve been convinced by the healthy conversation exercise in Grantham, that there is a need for 24/7 urgent emergency care type service for the town.”