We were there long enough to understand the culture of the hospital. We got to know the routines, systems and procedures. I know the quality of their care: from ICU to the ward. It is second to none. Isla was cared for by over 53 nurses on ICU and I’d trust Isla in the hands of every one of them again. #imwithalderhey
The ventilator tubes were checked and changed regularly as per procedure. I saw this happen a lot. Isla would be manually bagged while they changed everything, I worried every time it was done, so trust me, I know it happened.
Do NG (feeding/medicine) tubes get messy? Of course they do… they get medicines squirted down them like 30 times a day! Some of those medicines leak down to the connector and congeal. Is that the same as being mouldy? No! The NG connectors and giving sets are changed routinely. As parents, we were also encouraged to take part of Isla’s cares which involved cleaning things like the connectors for NG tubes! #imwithalderhey
Pain management and keeping Isla comfortable was a huge part of Isla’s journey. I think she rotated through every type of pain relief, including fentanyl and midazolam. The Pain team were excellent and all her medicines were regularly checked and reviewed by the pharmacists. As we moved through to the ward the Pain team would still visit us and still remember Isla over one year on. I’d trust the staff there to manage pain and make sure all the right medicines were given. #imwithalderhey
Would they leave a baby or child sat in a dirty cot? That would be a no. Nappies get changed every 3 hours. With my Little Miss, on ICU, her nappy was changed pretty much every time there was a tiny bit of wee as she would cry and drop her oxygen sats until she was changed. This was hard when there were ecg wires, a central line with multiple ports, an arterial line, peripheral lines, a drain, skin thermometer, and a sats monitor attached. Yet it was no trouble even when it was a Herculean task!
Same with vomit and bedding. Bedding was changed daily. If Isla wet the sheets 10 seconds after a sheet change or vomited on them straight away, they’d be changed again! Certainly wouldn’t leave a child in a mess.
This was the same throughout the hospital. Even on the busier wards, the nurses would rush round and do nappy changes, clean ups and cares for children whose parents couldn’t be there. #imwithalderhey
The staff cared for my little girl when we weren’t there. How do I know, I wasn’t there? Some days, when Isla was on the ward, I’d arrive at hospital and Isla wouldn’t be there. Of course I’d panic, before realising she was either at the nurses station being entertained by multitasking nurses, or being carried round by a busy but loving doctor, or being calmed down by a health care assistant. I saw this with all the children on the ward. Even at maximum ratios, children wouldn’t be left crying with no one to care. I always felt comfortable leaving the ward knowing that she would be in good hands and if she needed comforting there were many loving volunteers. #imwithalderhey
All the staff, admissions team, doctors, nurses, surgeons, consultants, medical professionals, infection control team, pain team, pharmacists, health cares, cleaners, maintenance men, security, chefs, and anyone else at Alder Hey who has looked after us and kept us safe, THANK YOU!