Mum calls for consideration for children at Worthing Hospital

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A CONCERNED Rustington mother is calling for Worthing Hospital to take more consideration of children’s fears when planning operations.

Lisa Child said her partially-deaf daughter faced a “terrifying nightmare” after she went in for a routine procedure to fix a common, childhood ailment.

Shakira Child, nine, has suffered with glue ear – a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air, which dulls the youngster’s hearing – for several years.

Lisa, of Worthing Road, said when Shakira went to have a plastic grommet – a device which would help to counteract the effects of her condition – fitted in her right ear, she became frightened after she was asked to wear an anaesthesia mask by staff at the hospital.

Lisa said: “We have been to that hospital several times before for the same operation and nothing like this has ever happened.

“I’ve told them (Worthing Hospital) that Shakira gets scared when they put the mask over her face. It was such an ordeal. She kept saying, ‘mummy, I’m too scared. I can’t do it’.”

Lisa claims the incident has left her daughter traumatised and that, since the attempted operation, last month, Shakira has been having constant nightmares that leave her in a pool of sweat, each night.

But with her daughter’s procedure rescheduled for next month, the concerned mum is this week urging the hospital to take children’s fears into account during the planning of any future operations.

Cathy Stone, director of nursing and patient safety at Worthing Hospital, apologised for the incident.

She said: “It is always sad to hear that someone has become distressed while in our care – clearly, our staff would never intend to upset any of their patients.

“I cannot comment on an individual patient’s circumstances but regardless of the specifics of any individual case our priority is always to give people good care. If someone feels we have not done that we always seek to work with them, and to meet with them if they wish, to ensure that lessons are learned for the future.”

A spokesman for the hospital said a full investigation had been launched into the incident.