Child sent away from hospital with pneumonia - mum says

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 October 2011

Abi  and Jack Congram with mum Alison, York Close Worle.

Abi and Jack Congram with mum Alison, York Close Worle.


A WORLE mum has criticised Weston General Hospital for sending her child away three times before she was 
diagnosed with severe pneumonia.

After seeing last week’s front page report about the death of toddler Lucas Wellsted, who was neglected by staff 
at the hospital, Alison Congram got in touch to tell us her story.

Alison, a mother-of-two, says her daughter was seen at the GP clinic at the Uphill site, which is run by Harmoni, and at the hospital’s accident and emergency department, which is run by Weston Area Health Trust.

She says she first took her sick daughter to the clinic on September 27 when she became wheezy and had a very high temperature.

Alison says she was sent home with a prescription for ibuprofen and told to give five-year-old Abi Calpol every four hours.

But three days later, when the youngster’s condition failed to improve, Alison, of Becket Road, took her daughter to the accident and emergency department, which referred her back to the clinic and, despite her high temperatures, staff there said she had a virus and sent her home again.

When Abi deteriorated further over the weekend her mother took her to the accident and emergency department again, but after a four-hour wait she says she was told there were no paediatricians available and she should go to Bristol Children’s Hospital.

After being taken there by ambulance, Mendip Green First School pupil Abi was diagnosed with severe pneumonia which had been developing for several days. She spent two days in hospital.

Alison, who is also mother to eight-year-old Jack, said: “It’s disgusting, I wouldn’t take my children to Weston General Hospital for anything now.

“Abi hasn’t even recovered enough yet to return to school.

“The staff at Bristol were brilliant, but had this been diagnosed sooner, Abi would not have had to stay in hospital. It’s rotten.”

A Harmoni spokesman and another for Weston Area Health Trust both said that due to the legal issues surrounding patient confidentiality, they cannot make any comments concerning the case.

They both encouraged the family to contact their complaints departments, which the Mercury understands has already happened.

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