Amanda, a rising 17 year old was rushed to hospital with suspected meningitis. Unfortunately, no information followed the patient and she was placed on a mixed ward for the elderly where 10 separate nurses examined her, forming their own conclusions regarding her condition without ever referring back to her.
Amanda's parents were not allowed to be with her and subsequently, during the night she was continually disturbed by a male patient with a form of dementia who needed continual care. She was unable to look after herself and unable to drink because of the machines attached to her and her drinks being placed out of reach. She was discharged mid-morning the following day with tablets for a severe water infection and no follow-up information.
This is a short story of a young person who has received poor quality care. ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN was specially formed to help people such as Amanda receive the highest quality of care. Her experience is totally unacceptable in 2010 and Government guidelines frown upon young people being placed in mixed older person's wards.
ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN is still required to help with attitudes and training for those working with children and young people in order that they receive appropriate care in appropriate conditions.
The mother of a nine year old girl asked ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN to help prepare them for an operation for grommets in her daughter's ears. We sent her leaflets on going into hospital, needles and pain, plus simple information on the operation itself. She wrote back saying "The hospital was unable to supply me with any written information, so thanks to you and your support this was a very positive experience for my daughter:"
A mother of a sixteen year old boy was told by a hospital that it was a legal requirement for anyone over sixteen to stay in an adult ward. As her son had been to hospital frequently, while awaiting a kidney transplant, he felt happier in a children's ward and did not want to change to an adult environment.
ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN reassured the mother that the hospital was not legally entitled to enforce such a move, and advised her that hospitals should take the needs of the individual child into account over such decisions. With this support, she was able to liaise with the hospital on an equal footing and ensure that her son stayed where he felt happy.