Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said it was sorry for Leah’s treatment (Picture: Leah Smith/MEN Media)
A young mum says she and her newborn baby spent 50 minutes socially distancing in a hospital loo because of his Covid symptoms.
Leah Smith, 22, claimed she was directed past the waiting area at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and into a nearby toilet.
She even had to feed her five-week-old boy Oakley in there after bringing him in to see a doctor.
The trust which runs the hospital apologised for her experience.
The mum-of-five said she was concerned about her little one because two of her other children had recently tested positive.
She called NHS 111 and was told to come to Saint Mary’s Hospital to see its specialist paediatricians.
But Leah said there was ‘no one at the front desk’ and she found her way into the Royal, which it shares buildings with.
She asked for directions and claimed two nurses held a toilet door open for her, adding that she could feed her tot inside.
Leah said she was ‘absolutely disgusted’ with how she was treated (Picture: Leah Smith/MEN Media)
Leah told Manchester Evening News: ‘Then I waited for 50 minutes in a toilet with a newborn baby before a doctor told me to come and see them in a different room.
‘I did have to feed him in there as well.’
Oakley was assessed and sent back home to be monitored by his mother – who is still reeling from the experience.
Leah, from Altrincham, said: ‘I was absolutely disgusted at how we were treated. I was so shocked at the way I was spoken to. Lost for words.
‘It wasn’t really until I got home that I realised what had happened.
‘I couldn’t believe they’d just done that. He could have caught anything in that toilet.
‘Why do they not have a place for people with Covid symptoms to wait?
Mum Leah with her newborn (Picture: Leah Smith/MEN Media)
‘They will be seeing a lot of that at the moment. I just hope they don’t do that to anybody else.’
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said it was not standard practice for any patient of the paediatric emergency department to be told to wait in a toilet.
A spokesperson also confirmed that all patients are streamed at the front entrance, with separate pathways for patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, followed by dedicated waiting areas to keep the patients isolated while waiting for treatment.
The spokesperson said: ‘We apologise unreservedly to Ms Smith and her son for their experience in our Paediatric Emergency Department.
‘We take all complaints very seriously and we are grateful to Ms Smith for raising her concerns, which we are investigating fully.
‘We will continue to work with Ms Smith to resolve the issues she has raised and will provide her with an update on our investigation.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.