Mum's fury after Royal Stoke University Hospital 'cut corners' and discharged her sick baby

Felicity was rushed to A&E and then re-admitted less than 24 hours later Credit: BPM Media

The parents of a baby girl who was rushed to A&E and then re-admitted less than 24 hours later have slammed the government's current handling of the NHS.

Joshua Chappell from Cheadle in Staffordshire drove his three-month-old baby, Felicity, to the Royal Stoke University Hospital after waiting four-and-a-half hours for an ambulance that never arrived.

The 25-year-old said his daughter was displaying respiratory problems and involuntary head movements.

Felicity was assessed and diagnosed with bronchiolitis and was told to get saline solution from a pharmacy within the space of an hour at the Royal Stoke.

The pharmacist immediately sent Felicity to her GP and the baby spent the next 10 days in the Royal Stoke.

Joshua and Lucy Chappell with their four children, Harry, 5, Finley, 4, Isobella, 2, and baby Felicity Credit: BPM Media

Felicity's parents, Joshua and Lucy, have condemned the current state of the NHS.

Joshua said: “The pharmacist asked to see Felicity. He turned around and said 'take her to the doctors and don’t leave until she’s got an appointment'. He said, 'she needs to see someone urgently'.

“It was quite scary. We had put our trust in the hospital doctor, she just had bronchiolitis, and she was going to be okay, and then another healthcare professional is saying she needs urgent care.”

The family were seen immediately at Allen Street Clinic, in Cheadle. The GP called 999 and Felicity was returned to the Royal Stoke. The Royal Stoke diagnosed her with the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Joshua added: “Felicity was really ill. She stayed on an Airvo machine for quite a few days and she also had a trip to the high-dependency unit when her oxygen levels decreased.

“The NHS is on its knees - they are under pressure. I’m not saying it's the staff, it’s the government. They’ve ruined it. Something needs to be done.”

Lucy, aged 27, said: “We put our faith in doctors to do what's best for our baby and, on this occasion, I believe corners were cut.

"The NHS is under extreme pressure and it will cost lives. If I hadn't asked for a second opinion from our GP the following day, our daughter may not have survived, which is an absolutely terrifying thought.

"The whole event has knocked our confidence in the NHS.”

The Royal Stoke is aware of the couple's concerns.

Chief Nurse Ann-Marie Riley said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mr Chappell and his daughter’s situation. It is always our aim to deliver the highest standards of care possible.

"RSV symptoms may not be severe initially, but can become more severe a few days into the illness. We would always ask families to seek additional advice if symptoms worsen. We take any concerns raised by patients or their families very seriously."

West Midlands Ambulance Service has apologised to the family.An ambulance service spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to the family of Ms Chappell for the delayed response.

"We are seeing some patients wait a very long time for ambulances to arrive as a result of long hospital handover delays."The pressures we are seeing in health and social care means that when our crews arrive at A&E they are unable to handover patients to hospital staff and therefore cannot respond to the next patient in the community.

"If there are long hospital handover delays, with our crews left caring for patients that need admitting to hospital, they are simply unable to respond to the next call, which can impact on the care of the patient in the community.“We are working incredibly hard with our partners to find new ways to reduce these delays, so that our crews can respond more quickly and save more lives.”

ITV News Central has contacted University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust for a comment.