DGH: family’s concern over daughter’s notes

The Crossland family. mum Sian, dad Guy and daughters Nancy (centre) and Phoebe (right). May 30th 2013 E22209P
The Crossland family. mum Sian, dad Guy and daughters Nancy (centre) and Phoebe (right). May 30th 2013 E22209P

The parents of a schoolgirl who had to be transferred from the DGH’s Friston Ward to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings has criticised the way information is shared between the two sites.

Nancy Crossland was taken to hospital on May 19 but had to be taken to Hastings because she needed intravenous therapy and the course would last four hours but the Friston Ward would not be open during all of that time.

The eight-year-old, who is believed to be suffering from a series of infections, had to wait several hours to be taken to Hastings via ambulance where she spent five nights in the Kipling Ward. Her parents Sian and Guy Crossland took it in turns to stay overnight with her.

The family, of Prideaux Road, said the situation was made more difficult because of the distance and having two other daughters who they had to take out of school early to see her.

Mrs Crossland said, “There is going to be a situation where children need immediate treatment and I think unless you get there [at the DGH] in the right window then you’re going to be transferred.”

Nancy was discharged on the Friday and went on to have a blood test at the DGH.

Mrs Crossland, who called the changes an ‘ill-conceived plan’, added, “I was told her notes were still in Hastings so I couldn’t be told more than she had raised platelets in her blood. When we were in Hastings they didn’t have all her notes - things like that don’t fill you with confidence. We had no issues with the care, the nurses and doctors there are doing the best but they are doing their best in a situation that is not tenable, safe or properly managed.”

A spokesperson for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said, “Following the temporary changes to maternity and paediatrics, there are no overnight paediatric inpatients at Eastbourne DGH. The Trust has worked closely with the ambulance service and other partners in the local health economy to establish effective arrangements in response to these changes. These arrangements are put into action in a timely manner when a child needs to be transferred from Eastbourne to the Conquest Hospital and would include the transfer of relevant notes and information, which can be done via telephone. We are looking into the issues that Mr and Mrs Crossland have raised to see if anything should have been done differently and whether there are any lessons that can be learned from their experience.”