A TEENAGER suffering from severe headaches was sent home by medics with painkillers – only to be rushed to hospital hours later for a life-saving operation to stop a serious bleed on his brain.
Callan Redshaw, 17, went to One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road, after complaining of headaches.
After receiving treatment, his family say he was given a prescription which he was told he had to collect at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Unable to get transport to Stockton, the teenager returned to his home in Flotilla House, at Hartlepool Marina, to take his own paracetamol.
But he collapsed just two hours later and his worried parents called an ambulance.
A bleed was detected when he was examined at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
He was then transferred by ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where he underwent a five-hour operation the next day to try to stem the bleeding on his brain.
Callan was treated on the high dependency unit at the hospital before being released four days later and told to return today for a brain scan.
Health bosses have offered to meet his relatives to discuss their concerns.
Callan’s grandmother, Barbara Redshaw, 57, described the situation as “a farce”.
Barbara, who works as a volunteer for the Hartlepool and District Hospice, said: “The whole situation was shocking. The NHS helpline advised us to go to One Life when we described his symptoms.
But we were initially told there was no appointment available.
“We had to demand to be seen, then when we were he was given a prescription which he could only collect in Stockton.
“The lad has ended up in an intensive care unit. I thought the whole point of all these changes to the health system in Hartlepool was to make things better.”
Callan, son of Sonia Leak, 40, and 40-year-old dad David Redshaw, had been suffering from headaches for a week before going to One Life Hartlepool at 4pm on Sunday, August 21.
Sonia added: “He couldn’t stand the light, so he was laid up on the couch with paracetamol until the pain got so bad that he needed to see a doctor.
“In a way, it is a blessing in disguise that he never picked that prescription up. The people in the hospital reckon that would have taken the pain away, but obviously the bleed would have continued and he would have ended up collapsing.
“The operation went well, thankfully, but we’re lucky we’ve still got him. He is due more tests to see if the bleeding has stopped, so fingers crossed he’ll be all right.”
She added: “Surely if someone’s condition is serious enough to require a five-hour brain operation, then it should be picked up at the first place you go to?”
Ali Wilson, director of commissioning and system development for NHS Tees, said: “We take any patient concern about the service they receive seriously and are committed to making sure that all patients receive the right treatment at the right time in the right place.
“We are looking into the issues that have been raised and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with the family.”
Health chiefs did not wish to comment on why a patient from Hartlepool would need to pick up a prescription in Stockton.