Julia Batt

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Heath Ward Learn more

Maidstone Hospital – A & E or ECC?

by Julia on 19 September, 2007

Last night, I experienced first hand Maidstone A&E – and it was very good.

While on the phone to husband, Travis started crying. Rachael went off to talk to him and the crying stopped – Rachael deserves a lot of credit for the help she is – although last night she ended up in a heap of trouble. About 40 seconds after Rachael had wandered off, there was an almighty crash. I was in the room before any crying had even started…

It turned out that Rachael had taken Travis out of his rocking chair and climbed up on to the coffee table so he could see himself in the mirror (a trick I often do – without needing to climb on the table). Unfortunately, Rachael fell off the table whilst carrying Travis…

He mostly landed on her, but typically his head didn’t, and from Rachael’s explanations, his head hit the table edge on the way down.

After about a 15 second pause, Travis started screaming and I mean really SCREAMING. I cuddled him, rubbed his head, bounced him up and down, tried a dummy, tried to feed him, more cuddling, more head rubbing, couple of nursery rhymes and still he continued screaming. After about 15 minutes I got on to NHS Direct, but they were all busy, so I phoned Maiddoc (Maidstone’s out of hours Doctors). They registered my call, and I was to wait for a call back.

I waited, but still he screamed. I was getting more and more panicy… at this point I made the decision to go to hospital – just a short walk from our house. Kids got dressed while I continued to try to settle poor Travis. We walked out the door just as Maiddoc phoned back and agreed with them to take him to hospital.

Travis settled about 30 seconds before we arrived at hospital – after at least 50 minutes solid screaming, I think he was just worn out. I registered him, beginning to feel like a timewasting fool and sat down. He was probably quiet for a total of 5 minutes and then the screaming started again. Again, no matter what I did, he screamed – we were seen after an hour, which in my opinion is really fast for a busy evening in an A&E ward. Possibly they were all getting headaches.

Shining a torch in Travis’ eyes finally stopped the crying and gave them (and me) an oppurtunity to really check him over. Because of all the crying and screaming, his face had gone really red, so it had been difficult to see if there were any bruised areas. When he calmed down, it was pretty obvious he had a bruise above his left eye but nothing else of concern. The Doctor checked his pulse, checked his general awareness/alertness and assured me all would be fine, but what signs to look out for. I was simply advised to give him a calpol and keep an eye on him.

As we left the cubicle the screaming started again and I think everyone was glad to see the back of us! All’s well now and after a good nights sleep, even the bruising has gone down.

While there, I noticed  that it’s A&E has been renamed “Emergency Care Centre”. I hope this isn’t a sign that the much feared withdrawal of ‘blue-light’ services will happen. Although Travis turned out to be absolutely fine, I’ve always had serious reservations about the assurances that moving such an important service so far away will not have an impact. If I hadn’t been using the services last night, I would have been (where I was supposed to be) at a scrutiny meeting with the Kent & Medways Primary Care Trust (PCT) discussing their revised plans for the future of the hospital. I will have to watch back the meeting which was webcast to find out what I missed. You can view it here.

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