Grandmother appeals after child driven 130kms for medical aid

Wendy Norris’ granddaughter was driven from Burcher to Temora for medical attention.By Dominic Geiger

An extremely dehydrated eight month old child was driven over 130kms to Temora hospital last Sunday night following the poor handling of a phone call to the Condobolin Hospital.
The child’s grandmother, Wendy Norris, said she had been treating baby Alice for vomiting and diarrhoea over the weekend.
“As a grandmother, I managed her, doing things people usually do for sick kids because we knew there were no doctors [in Condobolin] we could see on the week end,” she said.
“Late Sunday night, Alice’s father Adrian took her home to Burcher but at 10:30pm he called me and said Alice was still vomiting and not eating or drinking.”
Wendy then gave her son directions to call Condobolin Hospital where he received advice on how to manage Alice’s condition.
Despite this, Wendy said “at no stage did [the hospital staff] say to bring Alice in.”
“Adrian then rang West Wyalong hospital on his own accord and was told there was no doctor available there or on call,” she said.
“At 1:15am Alice was still vomiting and loosing fluid so Adrian called Temora hospital and was told that, if he was so concerned for Alice’s health, to bring her over.”
Alice has since made a full recovery after seeing the on call doctor in Temora and being placed on antibiotics.
Wendy said she thought it was appalling her son wasn’t encouraged to take Alice to Condobolin Hospital as a precaution.
“Condobolin may have doctors in place though is the hospital actually open or do we get turned away after 10pm?” she said.
“We have a wonderful hospital, but is it operating at its full capabilities or are the doors closed and we can’t access the hospital system?”
A spokesperson for Western NSW Local Health District said the organisation was unable to comment on the specifics of Alice’s case, however the spokesperson confirmed “a local doctor is on duty or on call for emergencies at the Condobolin Health Service at all times.”
“Patients who require treatment after hours are advised to present to the Hospital’s Emergency Department for a full assessment, triage, and treatment,” the spokesperson said.
“The Western NSW Local Health District takes all complaints very seriously; we would be happy to meet with the family to discuss any concerns they have regarding the Condobolin Health Service.”
The spokesperson also said If a person is seeking medical advice over the phone, they are advised to call the Health Direct Australia line on 1800 022 222, which provides expert health advice 24-hours a day to NSW residents.

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