A nurse watched a football match while taking blood from a seizure patient, leaving her with a large bruise as he checked out a goal while the needle was in her hand.
Libby Bates was taken by ambulance from her home in Erith, south east London, to nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich after having a non-epileptic seizure on February 8.
Her mother, Nicola Bates, said she knew NHS workers often struggled to find a vein to test Libby’s blood, so warned the triage technician an ultrasound machine could be needed.
But she claimed the nurse ‘ignored’ her and tried to take her daughter’s blood anyway – while glued to a match on a mobile phone propped up against the computer on his desk.
He entered the room watching the game with the volume turned on, before beginning the procedure, even checking out a goal going in as the needle was in the patient’s hand, she alleged.
Photos appear to show a nurse watching the football while taking blood from Libby Bates, who had a non-epileptic seizure
Her mother, Nicola Bates, claimed the nurse checked out a goal going in as the needle was in Libby’s hand
A picture taken of the incident appeared to show the man turning away from Libby to look at the phone, while trying to administer the jab at around 10.30pm in the evening.
It is believed he was watching French sides Marseille beating PSG 2-1 in a cup match.
The multiple attempts to find a vein left Libby’s hand covered in bruises, mother-of-three Nicola said.
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust that runs the hospital apologised to Libby and her mother, but no action was taken against the triage technician.
Teaching assistant Nicola said the response was ‘not good enough’ but the trust had told her to take it up with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
She added: ‘I think he should have been disciplined. He was watching the football when we came in, with the sound on.
‘He didn’t talk to my daughter the whole time we were in there.
The multiple attempts to find a vein left Libby’s hand covered in bruises, her mother said
‘He was looking at the phone, watching a goal, when he had the needle in my daughter’s hand.
‘He didn’t even notice me taking photos. On the way out, I said, ‘enjoy your football’, and he laughed. Her hand was covered in bruises.
‘He hurt my daughter while trying to take her blood. There was no care and I told another nurse at the time he was watching football but I was ignored.
‘My daughter now has no trust in hospitals, as she has been going regularly for the past two years due to non epileptic seizures [FND].’
In response to Nicola’s complaint, the trust claimed the nurse was taking a break in the triage room before the procedure but decided to treat Libby anyway.
A spokesman for the trust said: ‘With hindsight, he recognises his error and apologises for being distracted by his phone, which should have been switched off and put aside while tending to a patient.
‘He has assured the investigator that this will never happen again.’
Libby with her mother Nicola outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich
The hospital added it would monitor ‘inappropriate use of mobile phones’ by staff.
But Nicola was not happy with the response, adding: ‘I’m not happy with their explanation at all. He wasn’t on a break. He saw patients before my daughter and after.’
The trust replied: ‘We carried out a detailed investigation when Ms Bates complained about her daughter’s care and sent her a full response on April 15, addressing all of her concerns.
‘We would encourage her to contact our complaints team if she has any further concerns.’