A FAMILY has branded their treatment ‘a disgrace’ after their 17-month-old son was turned away from hospital with blood pouring from his head.
Little Ryley was taken to Alnwick Infirmary in the early hours of Saturday, August 6, after mum Kelly Ellis and dad MJ Campbell found him in a pool of blood at their home in Belle Vue Gardens, Alnwick.
They rushed to the town’s hospital fearing the worst and wanting him to be seen as soon as possible but were told there was no doctor available and the youngster couldn’t be treated there.
Despite pleading for help, the family was not taken inside the infirmary but left outside speaking to a nurse through an intercom.
“It makes my blood boil,” said MJ, 22.
“He is our little boy and anything could have happened and we were turned away. We felt like we were just being palmed off.
“I told her we had a 17-month-old baby whose head is pouring with blood and she just said you will have to go to the Wansbeck.
“He could have needed an ambulance for all we knew, but they didn’t even check him over. They just said there was no doctor and told us to go.
“We were really lucky that it turned out to be just a cut on his head but it could have been a lot more serious.”
Ryley had been in his cot next to his parents’ bed and tried to climb out.
He fell down and hit his head, but Kelly said it looked as though he was bleeding from his ear.
Kelly, 29, and Ryley were in dressing gowns as they stood outside the hospital while sister Chloe, five, was in the car.
“It’s disgusting,” Kelly said.
“What is the point in nurses being there if they are not even willing to come out? We were waiting outside for a good 10 minutes talking to them and they didn’t even come to the door. They could have looked at him but they didn’t.
“It’s a disgrace. I wouldn’t advise anybody to go there, I would tell them to go to the Wansbeck. It is horrible to say that but you have to, you waste time otherwise.”
Once they arrived at Wansbeck General Hospital, Ryley was seen straight away and taken to the children’s ward.
The couple praised the treatment he received when he was finally seen.
“In fairness to the staff at the Wansbeck they were absolutely great from start to finish,” said MJ.
“But we are going to take this further. We will be making a formal complaint. We were lucky. It looked worse than it was but we don’t want anyone else to go through this. It was a really stressful time, we had never been through anything like that before, and they just didn’t help us. They are being paid to be there, but they don’t seem to be doing anything.”
An investigation into the incident has been launched by Northumbria NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust which said that it ‘shouldn’t have happened’.
An apology has also been made to the family.
Steve Russell, director responsible for community hospitals at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very sorry this happened, it shouldn’t have happened and we telephoned the family to express our sincere apologies as soon as we could.
“The family should have been invited into Alnwick Infirmary, given reassurance and transport arranged to Wansbeck General Hospital as all children under the age of two years must be assessed by a doctor.
“We are carrying out an internal investigation into this incident and lessons learnt will be shared with colleagues. We treat thousands of patients at Alnwick Infirmary every year and this is an isolated case.”