Frustrated parents are calling on hospital bosses to offer better resources for parents with sick children.
This comes after governors at the Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospital trust have raised concerns over parents sleeping on the floor at the children’s observation unit at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
This is due to the bed settees available at the hospital only being able to accommodate one person. At a recent Governors meeting, Mike Addenbrooke, said he had been told that staff had advised parents to buy a blow-up bed from Argos.
Speaking on Facebook, Debi Gregory said: “I was there last week with my baby son and we were told we could bring a blow up bed in. My sister stayed with me while my husband was home with our other two children and she slept on two waiting room chairs pushed together.
The sofa bed was so overused that I’m back on crutches.
I’d managed to do without for the past few weeks.”
“Parents should be given a proper bed,” commented Briar Rose on Facebook.
She added: “They need to be well rested to cope with the stress and worry over their sick child and to have the stamina that this takes.”
Kay Dave Simpkins said on Facebook that he thinks parents need somewhere to sleep but thinks the solution could lie with hospital fundraisers.
He said: “Maybe a “Friends of Doncaster Children’s Hospital” could be set up to raise funds for these, parents want to be with sick children. Maybe those who can afford it can donate to more/comfortable bed chairs/settees.”
Richard Parker, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality, said: “Space on the ward is prioritised for the care of the children. However we do we offer a range of accommodation to parents, including bedside reclining chairs or accommodation in other areas. We are also happy to help parents who wish to bring in an alternative that will help them get a good night’s sleep.”
He added: “We always aim to provide the best environment for patients to receive treatment and care, and on the Children’s Ward this means helping parents to stay with their child overnight, if they so wish.
Partner Governor Adele Mumby said Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospitals provide an ‘excellent service’ and that staff try to do what they can to accommodate parents with an unwell youngster.
“I believe we’ve got an excellent facility overall but unfortunately there isn’t the provision to provide more than one camp bed for each child,” said Adele.
She added: “I completely sympathise with families if they have found it difficult, but at least we have been able to provide something.”
“A lot of hospitals wouldn’t even be able to allow parents to sleep on the ward.”