Hospital makes improvements after serious failings highlighted

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A MUM has received an apology from staff at Grantham Hospital for the way they treated her and her sick baby.

Michaela Sleney, of Wallwork Mews, Grantham, tried on three occasions in April this year to get her seven-month-old son seen by doctors at A&E, but was refused.

When her son, Jaiden Daley, was eventually booked in to see doctors in the department he was immediately rushed to Boston Hospital for life-saving care.

Miss Sleney met staff at the hospital last month to air her grievances, and gave the Journal a copy of a recording of the meeting which was made by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

She told the meeting: “I had to watch my son dying. He looked so ill. It was horrible. I didn’t know what to do.”

The first time Miss Sleney visited A&E a receptionist told her to go to the out-of-hours GP service run on the hospital site by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust. She did as she was told but was sent home with instructions to return if Jaiden’s condition worsened.

She returned to A&E the following day but a receptionist again told her to see the out-of-hours doctor. She refused, and within minutes of being booked into the A&E department Jaiden was being treated.

Miss Sleney told the meeting: “The doctor told me that he was in the last stages of dehydration and he was so severely dehydrated he was already starting to shut down. I don’t know how a receptionist can send me away. She reluctantly booked him in and once they saw how ill he was then it was all go go go.”

A&E duty sister Joyce Farren saw Jaiden when he was first admitted.

She said: “When we did get him in we were quite shocked I have to say.”

Grantham Hospital matron Mandy Charles apologised to Miss Sleney for the distress that was caused.

She told her: “I’m aware since I joined Grantham that there are some issues with the reception staff. It is not a receptionist’s decision on who should or should not be seen.

“You shouldn’t feel bad at all, we got this wrong not you.”

Ms Charles said training is being put in place to improve the situation. She added: “We have been understaffed, that’s not your fault, and they have had to work some pretty awful shift patterns so morale’s been really low, which makes people bad tempered. But it’s absolutely no excuse for what’s happened to you. Thank goodness you did stand your ground with the receptionist.”

The out-of-hours service doctor, Dr Codi Ramesh, also apologised.

He told the meeting that when he first saw Jaiden he thought he was not ill enough to be admitted to hospital.

He said: “I think it was an error of my judgement to be honest. I think in hindsight I should have got him into hospital straight away. I’m really sorry for that. I could’ve done a lot more, I could’ve easily got him into hospital and I could have spent a lot longer with you as well. I’m learning from this incident and I will see that this will not happen again.”

l United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust: ‘We are making improvements’. Turn to page 2