1. ITV Report

Hospital to change admissions process after 'meningitis' baby's long wait

Happy now: Baby Maliki

Lincoln Hospital has announced that it is changing its admissions process for children to A and E, after a mother from Grantham waited more than six hours to see a doctor, despite her baby having viral meningitis.

Jessica Mustafa told ITV she was worried six-week-old Maliki would die as she waited, despite the infant having a fever and a rash. He is now recovering at home after being discharged from hospital.

Lincoln hospital says over the next few weeks additional specialist doctors will now be working within the department. A and E staff will also be able to refer children directly to the paediatric team at the hospital, meaning they won't have to wait to see a doctor first.

Maliki's mother, Jessica Mustafa, responded by saying the family were 'so grateful' to all the staff on Rainforest Ward for taking such good care of their precious baby.

Grateful: Jessica Mustafa

Maliki will have a hearing test and a review but it looks like he is fully recovered from viral meningitis. It is so important that people feel able to speak about their bad experiences, I am sure that many people left A&E that night unsatisfied with the length of time they had to wait.

Thankfully by sharing our experience in the media it has put the pressure on the A&E department that was so badly needed. We were visited whilst in hospital by a director, manager and A&E consultant and they have been fast to put actions to their apology.

Every parent that takes their child into Lincoln A&E in the very near future will, I hope, feel comfort in the fact that there will be a new policy in place which means that their child will see a Doctor much faster than previously.

– Jessica Mustafa
Recovering at home: Maliki

A spokesperson for the hospital said it was always looking for ways to reduce waits for patients - and that over the next few weeks would be improving a number of aspects in A and E, including having additional specialist doctors working within the department. This was expected to improve the service offered to all patients, including children.

We appreciate coming to A&E can be very worrying and stressful, especially when you are with a young child. Our team work extremely hard to see and treat everyone as quickly as possible and we are sorry that some patients have to wait longer during really busy times when we have very poorly people in the department.

We have also agreed with the hospital’s paediatrics team that during busy times in the night, the A&E teams will be able to refer young patients to them directly and patients will not be required to wait for an A&E doctor to see them first.

Statistics show over the last year the number of young people seen and treated within the 4 hour national standard has risen from 90% up to 93% demonstrating some of the improvements we have already made. I would like to reassure everyone we will continue to make improvements in our A&Es and expect the changes we make will further reduce waiting times and overcrowding in the department.

– Hospital statement