Boy's 23-hour casualty wait
A TEN-YEAR-OLD boy waited in pain for 23 hours before his broken wrist was treated by busy hospital staff.
Health bosses have been blasted by the youngster's father, who said the child was initially sent home from Royal Blackburn Hospital without being treated following a five-hour wait in A and E.
He said that staff told them to leave at 3am - four hours after he suggested that his son should go home because he was tired and in pain.
And he revealed that the boy had to wait another four hours on his return to hospital the next day before finally being given a plaster cast.
Hospital bosses have apologised for the delay but a patient watchdog said the situation was unacceptable.
Wajid Mahmood took his son Hassan to the hospital's Accident and Emergency department at 10pm on Wednesday, after the youngster had hurt his wrist playing football earlier that evening.
They were sent home because A and E was too busy, and Hassan was finally given a plaster cast for his wrist at 6pm the following day - 23 hours after he broke it.
Mr Mahmood, a taxi driver, said: "I was really angry and annoyed.
"We arrived on Wednesday night and booked ourselves in, and waited over an hour before Hassan was looked at.
"When the nurse said it was bad and the doctor should look at it, I offered to take Hassan home and come back the next day, because they were really busy.
"But they insisted that we should stay because his wrist needed sorting.
"We waited and waited, and at 3 o'clock in the morning I went up and asked what was going on, because my son was very tired and in pain, and was asking to go to bed.
"I was then advised to go home and come back in the morning, four hours after I had offered to do that in the first place."
Mr Mahmood said Hassan was only given a small dose of children's medicine Calpol for his pain by A and E staff.
Mr Mahmood, from Mulberry Walk in Blackburn, added: "Apparently there was only one doctor on duty, which I couldn't believe.
"I think its ridiculous when you think of the millions of pounds spent on the NHS."
Mr Mahmood's wife Mahjbeen took Hassan, a pupil at Audley Junior School, back to hospital on Thursday afternoon, where they waited a further four hours until he was treated at around 6pm.
Hassan, the eldest of the Mahmoods' four children, was diagnosed with a broken wrist and a plaster cast was placed on his forearm.
John Amos, chairman of the Patient and Public Information (PPI) Forum for East Lancashire Primary Care Trust branded the wait as "unacceptable."
He said: "Something has gone very wrong here, as they had to wait five hours and that breaches the four hour rule for A and E.
"These are very crucial targets for the Trust, so I don't know why this wasn't being monitored, it's totally unacceptable."
Mr Amos added that the incident did not bode well for how Royal Blackburn would cope when it becomes the principal accident and emergency site for East Lancashire in November, following the downgrading of casualty facilities at Burnley General Hospital.
He said: "If A and E is full to capacity now, how will it cope in the future?"
Rae Wheatcroft, service manager for A and E at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said: "We are very sorry that Mr Mahmood experienced a wait of longer than four hours when he came with his son.
"Although we cannot confirm that Mr Mahmood was told to go home, we can see how this situation would be upsetting for both father and son.
"We always try to see patients within the four-hour period and in 98 per cent of cases we usually achieve this.
"However, at times where there is high demand for our emergency care, we must prioritise in order of most urgent which sometimes lead to longer waits for other patients."