Scalded child parents sent to hospital 170 miles away

Corey Duffield The family said they reached Frenchay Hospital in Bristol eight hours after the boiling pan fell on Corey at their home in Newquay
Corey Duffield Corey's mother, Donna Thomas, said: "We assumed we would have been offered an ambulance"
Corey Duffield The Royal Cornwall Hospital said Corey was assessed by a doctor and was not showing "signs of undue pain or distress"

The parents of a scalded toddler said they were shocked hospital staff sent them to a specialist burns unit more than 170 miles (274km) away without offering an ambulance.

Corey Duffield was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro following an accident at home in Newquay.

His parents, who do not drive, said the hospital told them to take him to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

The hospital said Corey was not showing "signs of undue pain or distress".

It added that if the 22-month-old boy's parents had "raised any concerns about the difficulty of getting to Bristol we would have organised transport for them".

'Really stressful journey'

Corey's mother, Donna Thomas, said: "We got to hospital and they checked him out, called the hospital in Bristol and we were basically told to find our own way.

"We assumed we would have been offered an ambulance."

Corey's grandmother took him to Frenchay Hospital.

Ms Thomas said: "We had to put the seat straps over his shoulder which had been burnt, it was a really stressful journey.

"Anything could have happened on that journey - he could have taken a bad turn."

'Very sorry'

The family said they reached Frenchay Hospital eight hours after the boiling pan fell on the child.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital said: "We are very sorry that Corey's parents are unhappy about their son's treatment and the arrangement for him to transfer to the burns unit in Bristol.

"Corey's condition was fully assessed by the emergency department doctor.

"In line with the protocols agreed with the team at Frenchay Hospital, it was considered appropriate for him to travel by car."

Dr Amber Young, from North Bristol NHS Trust, said: "The South West Children's Burns Centre based at Frenchay Hospital, is the lead paediatric burn service within the region treating all severities of burn injuries.

"Under protocols agreed, children with significant burns are transferred to Frenchay Hospital for specialist care.

"Decisions on how a patient is transferred to the burns centre - whether by ambulance or by private car - is made by the judgment of the senior emergency team treating the child at the referring hospital."

The accident happened on 17 September and his father, James Duffield, said the boy had made a "spectacular recovery".

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