Mother sends warning over 'disgraceful' care of six-year-old daughter

Amelia Smith of March after surgery at Peterborough City Hospital

Amelia Smith was taken into surgery for an injured finger, which her mother said staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital confirmed surgery was not required. - Credit: Charlene Smith

A mother whose six-year-old daughter required surgery after being told by doctors it was not needed said the level of care she received was “disgraceful”. 

Amelia Smith of March and her mother, Charlene, went to Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s A&E department on July 18 with an injured finger. 

“Hinchingbrooke told me they were off their feet and six doctors down,” Charlene said. 

“It was scary as we didn’t have a clue what was going on.” 

Six hours later, Amelia was tended to by staff, who noticed a deep cut through her nail. 

Amelia Smith of March needed surgery at Peterborough City Hospital

Amelia Smith's mother Charlene said her daughter was taken into surgery at Peterborough City Hospital following a broken finger. - Credit: Charlene Smith

Charlene said doctors “didn’t clean the wound properly” and Amelia was sent for an X-ray to examine the damage. 

“They sent us for an X-ray and the doctor said it needs a clean-up,” Charlene said.  

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“This was a sprinkle of water about two to three inches above her finger; they did not take a look into the cut."   

Despite being told she had no broken bones, Amelia was advised to see a fracture clinic in Peterborough a week later to have her bandage changed, but the injury had already worsened. 

Charlene then took her daughter to Doddington Minor Injuries Unit the next day, who said they could not help. 

“They said the cut was too deep, so we were told to go to Peterborough City Hospital,” she said. 

WARNING: The photograph below contains graphic content

Amelia Smith's finger before it was assessed at Peterborough City Hospital

Amelia Smith's finger worsened as the nail started to fill with blood. - Credit: Charlene Smith

“A lady at the hospital looked at the same X-ray and apologised for the care we received at Hinchingbrooke as Amelia had broken her finger and would need surgery in case it got infected.” 

On Tuesday, July 20 and after time in theatre, doctors managed to fix the nail bed on Amelia’s finger and the problem was all but sorted. 

But Charlene, who said she has submitted a formal complaint to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, is angered by the treatment she initially received and warns parents not to go through the same experience as them. 

“The level of care given to my daughter at Hinchingbrooke was disgraceful,” she said. 

“What happens if a child did lose their finger if they were in a similar situation? I think that’s scary. 

“She is six-years-old and has gone through trauma. 

“I think if parents go with their gut and feel the care they have received is wrong, act on it as quickly as you can.”   

The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said it has not received a complaint from Charlene Smith and are unable to comment on the matter.

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