Apology over ill baby diagnosis

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HEALTH bosses have apologised after a baby was sent home from One Life Hartlepool only to be rushed to hospital on the same day with suspected meningitis.

But the youngster was fine and was later diagnosed with a viral rash as his mum, Danielle Hamilton described the ordeal as the “worst day of her life”.

Danielle took her son, Connor, to One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road, but was sent home after medics told her he had suffered an allergic reaction.

But Connor took a turn for the worse and “turned purple” when he got back home and was then rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, by ambulance.

The story features on BBC’s Inside Out programme tonight which is focusing on the closure of the A&E department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the transfer of treatment to One Life and the University Hospital of North Tees.

Danielle tells the programme: “I phoned NHS Direct and they sent me to One Life for an appointment at the walk-in centre.

“They said it was an allergic reaction, then when I took him home he started going purple so I phoned the NHS again and they sent an ambulance out and brought him to the hospital.

“It’s been the worst day of my life.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Tees said: “We are very sorry for this.

“We would very much like the family to contact us so that we can find out what happened so that we can learn lessons for the future.”

The programme also features several Hartlepool Mail front page stories about people’s concerns about services at One Life Hartlepool.

And Danielle is one of a number of disgruntled Hartlepool residents who air their concerns about the closure of the accident and emergency department at Hartlepool’s hospital.

One woman who is interviewed at Hartlepool marketplace says she watched on for 20 minutes while paramedics waited to find out where to take her daughter after she split her head open during an epileptic fit.

But one medic at the University Hospital of North Tees, who was interviewed, maintains the closure of the accident and emergency unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool was the right thing to do.

Andy Simpson, clinical director of emergency medicine, tells Inside Out: “In my view we couldn’t have kept it open.

“Not safely, not to the level that I would be happy that when someone came in who was seriously ill they were going to get treated as well as I would want to be treated or any of my family would want to be treated.

“One of the things to make clear, I live in Hartlepool so I knew what I was talking about.”

The show will be aired on BBC1 at 7.30pm.