The mother of a poorly three-year-old who was taken to A&E by ambulance says she was shocked after being told he couldn’t be seen by staff.
Tracie Owen’s son Aidan had a raised temperature, was floppy and vomiting when the out of hours doctor the family had been speaking to in the early hours of Friday (June 21) called paramedics. An ambulance took Aidan to the DGH and the family was taken to the A&E department but the mother-of-four from Lower Willingdon said Aidan was not seen.
“The paramedic said we’ve been turned away, they no longer take children overnight. If you had walked in yourself they would have seen you but because you’ve come by ambulance we have to to go to the Conquest,” she said.
She added, “It’s dangerous and I felt scared.”
The 29-year-old said Aidan was later seen by SeaDoc at the DGH, now known as Integrated Care 24 Ltd (IC24), who was able to bring his temperature down.
A spokesperson for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said, “When Aidan was seen by the out of hours GP service at the hospital he was treated appropriately without the need for emergency inpatient care. This could have happened earlier if he had been seen by them initially rather than an ambulance being called. Both the out-of-hours GP service and the ambulance service are responsible for ensuring their patients are seen by the most appropriate service depending on their condition.
“In the case described the advice given by A&E to the paramedics was correct. In the early hours of the morning any child who the GP or the ambulance service considers is in need of emergency inpatient care should be taken directly by ambulance to the appropriate hospital able to provide this care.”
Lorraine Gray, managing director, for IC24, said IC24 was sorry for the anxiety Mrs Owen experienced, adding, “Mrs Owen requested assistance from an Out of Hours GP service.
“IC24 no longer take calls from the public requiring medical assistance, this part of the service transferred into the NHS 111 service in March of this year and this is provided by another service provider. The ambulance would have been requested by the NHS 111 service and they took Aidan to EDGH. Aidan was referred by the Accident & Emergency Department to our Out of Hours service at the EDGH at 00.15 and was seen and treated by our GP at 00.25hrs.
“Again we are sorry that Mrs Owen and Aidan did not receive a smooth referral into our service.”