Mum’s plea for U-turn on children’s ward cutbacks after 20 mile transfer ordeal

Emily Fedderstone is pictured being transferred from Bassetlaw Hospital to Doncaster Infirmary after suffering a seizure
Emily Fedderstone is pictured being transferred from Bassetlaw Hospital to Doncaster Infirmary after suffering a seizure

A five-year-old girl who suffered a life-threatening seizure had to be transferred to another hospital “in the cold and rain” due to cutbacks at Bassetlaw children’s ward.

Mum Victoria Feddersen has shared harrowing photographs of her poorly daughter, Emily, being carted off to Doncaster in the hope it will make Bassetlaw Hospital chiefs re-think their decision to close the children’s ward at night.

Emily, who has a rare illness named Phelan Mcdermid syndrome, had been rushed to Bassetlaw Hospital from her Retford home one evening after suffering a prolong seizure.

As the children’s ward has been closed to new admissions after 8pm due to staff shortages, the tot was wheeled through “horrific weather” into a private ambulance to travel to Doncaster Infirmary almost 20 miles away.

Victoria said: “By the time staff at Bassetlaw had managed to stabilize Emily, she was completely exhausted and wiped out.

“But she had to be taken out into the cold and rain and transferred to Doncaster Infirmary, as there was no possibility of keeping her in the children’s ward here overnight.

“She was in a state and it was an ordeal for us, absolutely no fun at all.”

Emily is now out of hospital and recovering, but as she could have another seizure at any time due to her illness, Victoria is still worried about what the future holds for her daughter.

“We specifically moved to Bassetlaw because we knew that due to Emily’s condition we’d need a good children’s ward on our doorstep,” Victoria added.

“The staff at both Bassetlaw and Doncaster are excellent, there is no denying that.

“But the children’s ward closure, and this to-ing and fro-ing of young patients, is dangerous- and it will put a real emotional strain on families.”

David Purdue, chief operating officer at the Bassetlaw and Doncaster Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “The children’s ward has had to close to overnight admissions from 7pm every night due to staff vacancies.

“We want to assure people who use services at Bassetlaw Hospital that changes have been made to the paediatric ward with safety as the upmost concern. The ward will re-open at night if the current vacancies can be filled.

“The Trust has multiple nursing vacancies and despite numerous recruitment drives, these have been unsuccessful. This position is not unique to Bassetlaw, and we have made these changes to make the best use of the staffing we have available in order to continue to provide a safe paediatric service.”