A hospital today defended its decision to allow a severely disabled boy to sleep on a mattress on the floor for a week as it did not have the right type of bed.
Cody Neatis has been left to sleep without a proper bed while being treated for a chest infection as Royal Preston Hospital has yet to receive a specialist bed it ordered from the US, a spokesperson confirmed to The Independent today.
His parents Lynne and Steven are pushing to find out why – after two years of waiting since the last time he was admitted – the hospital has yet to have a suitable bed that would prevent him from pulling out his tubes or falling on the floor while sleeping.
“I can’t believe the hospital still hasn’t got one,” Mrs Neatis told the Lancashire Evening Post, while claiming that an undetermined number of other children had also been sleeping on the floor. “We’ve got one at home for Cody and I know a lot of families who also have.
“But one of the biggest hospitals in Lancashire doesn’t and so children are being forced to sleep on the floor for safety reasons.”
However, the NHS hospital today said that staff ordered a bed that could be used by children with similar conditions to Cody – who has epilepsy, Down’s syndrome, autism and is tube fed – but it has not been delivered yet from America.
The high-sided bed is larger than a child’s cot but smaller than a full adult-sized one. Cody could be put in danger in a standard hospital bed.
He and his mother, who has kept vigil while she has been awake, were watched over by a nurse as they slept to make sure his oxygen tubes were not being pulled out.
The second night was taken over by a health worker. However, Mrs Neatis claims that she had to pressure the hospital to provide someone on the third night after they had said no one was available.
The increasing strain on NHS resources
Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our priority is to always provide excellent care with compassion for our patients and we have had several discussions with Cody’s family regarding his care.
“A specialist bed has been ordered from America and we are awaiting delivery. We have discussed a number of alternatives with Cody’s family, which have been declined.
“We offered Mum the options of a traditional bed plus 1:1 nursing staff and we also brought in a special bed again with 1:1 nursing. We believe we have appropriate beds available to meet the needs of Cody along with appropriate nursing support.
“However based on the options available her preference was for Cody to have a mattress on the floor.”Reuse content