A MOTHER has accused Edinburgh’s renowned Sick Kids hospital of subjecting severely disabled children to
“inhuman and degrading treatment.”
Zoe Bojelian claimed her son Adam, 11 – who suffers from cerebral palsy and multiple life-threatening health problems – had been treated with
“neglect and indifference’ by staff at the facility.
The concerns, which are shared at the
“highest level’ according to Ms Bojelian, were raised in an open letter to First Minister Alex Salmond.
And among the allegations made, Ms Bojelian claims there exists a
“presumption’ that parents of severely disabled children will not want their child resuscitated.
The claim came after staff told her and her husband Paul they would need to ask for an alert to be attached to Adam’s notes to ensure he was revived if he stopped breathing.
Health bosses, who have agreed to meet with the family to discuss the concerns raised,have vowed to launcha full investigation into the allegations.
Ms Bojelian said:
“Of course, there are some absolutely wonderful staff at Sick Kids, but the pervasive culture is one of treating Adam with neglect and indifference, doing as little as possible, combined with treating parents who raise legitimate concerns with hostility, aggression and threats, including threatening to have the child put in long-term residential care. “
Adam, who communicates only by blinking, spent a total of six years at the Edinburgh hospital, though his health improved dramatically following a move to Glasgow’s Yorkhill, Ms Bojelian said.
“Perhaps the biggest contrast is that at the other hospitals we are never conscious of Adam’s physical impairment.
“There is never any question that Adam should not receive the best possible care because he is disabled. At Sick Kids it is always an issue.
“We are constantly reminded of his physical impairment. Staff at Sick Kids seem to start with the presumption that parents of a child with severe physical impairment will not want their child resuscitated. “
Lothians Labour MSP Sarah Boyack described the treatment of the family outlined in the open letter as
“Whether this is an isolated incident or evidence of a wider problem, NHS Lothian need to ensure that the matter is investigated. “
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said:
“We expect NHS Lothian to thoroughly investigate the serious concerns Ms Bojelian has raised, and it is right that they are given the opportunity to do so. “
Jackie Sansbury, chief operating officer for University Hospital Division, NHS Lothian, said:
“I contacted Ms Bojelian yesterday once I received a copy of her letter and am arranging to meet with her to discuss her concerns.
“We are committed to providing high quality care for all our patients and we treat complaints very seriously. A full investigation will be carried out. “