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Treat disabled hospital users as children if needed.

Comment 15th March 2013

Under 18s are not allowed on childrens ward, even if physically and mentally they appear younger than 18. This can cause major issues and is completely pointless red tape in the NHS.

Why does this matter?

My sister in law is physically and mentally disabled. She needs one on one support and is entirely depenent on others to survive. There are many issues around disability but one I find simply disgusting is the red tape around hospital wards.

Whenever K is taken to hospital (and it happens every few years) she is taken straight to A&E. As soon as a Doctor sees her the difficulties begin. She is not seen by children doctors or taken to a childrens ward. She is seen by a standard doctor who will always put her in a adult ward and try to use adult equipment.

K is given a adults bed with almost pointless side bars (she will easily fall through). Her mother (her carer) has to fight for the right to stay with her. When they do let her, she has to sleep in the same bed to stop K falling out.

Unfortunately, her circulation is dire and she has very tiny veins. Despite her mother telling the doctors this, they always do the same thing – ignore her and use adult needles. This has never worked and after countless attempts they will ask for a childrens doctor to visit the ward and do the work. This is the same for her nose feeding tube – they try to force an adult one in when it is impossible. Her mother must sit and wait with K whilst they do this knowing it will not work and knowing that they will not listen to her.

The last time she was on the adult ward a 'nutritionist' suggested that her mother was not caring for her as she was drastically underweight. This is because they were treating her as a full grown adult when shes disabled and more like a child.

My request is that the doctors be given the right to move over 18s into childrens wards when it is medically required – I am not talking about moving capable disabled adults but atleast give the doctors the choice. This will allow K to recover quicker, give her mother peace of mind knowing that specialist are near by and stop the waste of money and time that happens on the adult ward, and prevent offensive comments from doctors and nurses who do not know how to react to someone of this size.

The Doctors always say it is not allowed.

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