Grantham

Mum’s fury after baby with meningitis left waiting in A&E for over six hours

A furious Grantham mum is demanding answers from health bosses after she claims she was forced to wait in A&E for over six hours with her six-week-old son who had contracted meningitis.

Jessica Mustafa said that she was sharing her “horrible” experience in the hope that no-one else would have to suffer what she had endured during her weekend from hell.

Six-week-old Maliki became ill on Friday, September 15. Photo supplied by family

She has also said that the doctor who finally saw her son misdiagnosed his condition, claiming she said he had bronchitis.

Her son Maliki first developed a fever on the evening of Friday, September 15, with his skin sucking into his ribs.

Jessica dialled 111, and said an ambulance arrived roughly 80 minutes later, at 10.40pm.

By this point, Maliki had blanching spots on his back, with paramedics advising Jessica to take him straight to A&E, as there were no ambulances available.

Maliki’s mum is hopeful he will make a full recovery. Photo supplied by family

Jessica arrived with Maliki at Lincoln County Hospital A&E at around 1am on Saturday, September 16, and described the department as “packed”.

She said that despite Maliki having spots covering his back, neck, chest and left arm, she was told to wait.

Jessica added that he was “burning hot” and screaming.

Well into the early hours of the morning after previous attempts to have someone take his temperature, she complained to reception saying that her baby was seriously ill and needed to see a doctor immediately.

By this point, Jessica claims other people who had been waiting were giving up and leaving.

Eventually at 7.30am, six-and-a-half hours after first arriving at A&E, Jessica said her son was seen by a doctor.

Jessica has alleged that the doctor gave Maliki “a quick check”, before saying he had bronchitis, would not need any medication, and would be able to go home.

At this moment, Jessica claims that a paediatrician thoroughly examined him, and said that they suspected he had sepsis.

The paediatrician gave him fluids and antibiotics, and also carried out a lumbar puncture, which sees a needle inserted into the lower part of the spine to test for conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system.

Following the results coming back, Jessica said that the staff had been “fantastic” and had fully explained everything about the condition.

She added that she is hopeful that Maliki will fully recover.

However, she is still fuming about the length of time she was forced to wait with her gravely ill son.

She said: “Why is priority not given in A&E to a seriously ill six-week-old baby?

“Why when I asked merely for a temperature check did nobody come?

“Why did a doctor hastily diagnose bronchitis?

“Why did nobody listen to my pleas?

“Who is to blame?”

Lincoln County Hospital. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, in charge of the county’s hospitals, has launched an investigation.

A spokesperson for the trust said that Maliki was assessed fairly quickly upon arriving at A&E, but the wait the family experienced was for him to be seen by a doctor and admitted to hospital.

Director of operations Simon Evans added: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to Maliki’s family for the delay they experienced in Lincoln A&E on Friday night. We have launched an investigation into what happened.

“Unfortunately, the A&E department was extremely busy overnight, with a high number of seriously ill patients.

“All patients were prioritised according to clinical need, which unfortunately meant that some patients did have to wait longer than we would like.”