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'I shouldn't have had to take my 15 month-old to two hospitals'
A DAD has expressed his sheer frustration after having to take his 15 month old son to two different hospitals to be able to see a doctor.
Mark Stacey, 30, a businessman, from High Wycombe, spent two hours waiting for his son Kian to be seen for what he feared could be a leg fracture at Wycombe Hospital's minor injuries unit - only to be sent away due to lack of staff.
He then had to repeat the process the following day - this time at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.
Father-of-three Mr Stacey, of Croftwood, Totteridge, said: "Our first son had a fractured at the same age and when Kian started crying and showing similar signs of discomfort, having been through that before we didn't want to risk it."
They took him to Wycombe on February 27 at about 6.30pm and was advised Kian may need an x-ray.
Mr Stacey said: "When we got up to x-ray there was nobody waiting, we literally walked straight in."
But a doctor was needed to authorise an x-ray for such a young child so it could not be done.
"We've got all these facilities they're not being able to be used because there are no doctors," he said.
"The main frustration for me as a parent they've closed down the A&E and now that part of the building is empty you walk into MIU - bearing in mind this is 6.30pm on a Wednesday evening and there was one other person in the waiting room.
"To think they've got all their equipment sat there but all because they didn't have a doctor there they couldn't do it there and then."
He went to Wexham the next day and said staff had been excellent.
It transpired an x-ray was not needed after all and Kian has since made a recovery from a suspected ligament injury.
But Mr Stacey, owner of MD Stacey Glazing, said: "To put a 15 month old child through it all again, at another hospital, it's just sheer frustration really."
David Coyle, Operations Director for Bucks Urgent Care, said: “We are always disappointed when patients find our service less than satisfactory. To protect patient confidentiality, we cannot publicly comment on individual patient cases.
“However, I can confirm that the service was appropriately staffed that day. The minor injury side of the unit is staffed by emergency nurse practitioners and one of the clinical protocols they are governed by advises they cannot review x-rays for children under the age two.
"We do have clear pathways in place for under-twos to have x-rays and assessments at nearby hospital A&E departments.
"We have issued a reminder to staff to ensure that under-twos are identified at an early stage and parent offered details of where those x-rays and assessments can take place to avoid frustrations as experienced in this particular case.”