This was where severely disabled Cody Neatis was left to sleep during four nights in hospital – a mattress on the floor.
The eight-year-old was left without a bed in the children’s ward at the Royal Preston Hospital because staff don’t have the special cot he needs to keep him safe in his sleep.
Now mother Lynne Neatis is demanding answers from the local health trust after waiting two years for the high-sided bed she claims Cody and other severely disabled children have been promised.
“I can’t believe the hospital still hasn’t got one,” she stormed. “We’ve got one at home for Cody and I know a lot of families who also have.
“But one of the biggest hospitals in Lancashire doesn’t and so children are being forced to sleep on the floor for safety reasons.”
Cody, who has multiple conditions including epilepsy, Down’s Syndrome, autism and is tube fed, was admitted to the RPH last week with a severe chest infection.
It happens quite often when a severely disabled child goes in thereLynne Neatis
But because the hospital does not have a suitable bed - sized between a child’s cot and a high-sided adult bed - staff said he would have to sleep on the floor with his mum at his side. “He was on oxygen and I was next to him to make sure he didn’t pull the tube off thrashing around in his sleep,” explained Lynne. “It’s exhausting stuff and the hospital found us a nurse the first night to watch us and make sure he was OK when I fell asleep.
“The second night they provided a health care assistant, but the third night they said they couldn’t provide anyone. I kicked off and threatened we would have to take him home, so they found us someone.
“When he was in hospital two years ago they didn’t have a suitable bed. They promised us then that they were trying to get one.”
Mother of six, Lynne, of Malvern Close, Lostock Hall, claims Cody isn’t the only child forced to sleep on the floor of a side room in the children’s ward. “It happens quite often when a severely disabled child goes in there,” she said. “Sometimes there are two on the floor at the same time.
“We were told that the hospital did get a special bed on trial, but it proved unsatisfactory.”
Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our priority is to always provide excellent care with compassion for our patients and we have had several discussions with Cody’s family regarding his care.
“A specialist bed has been ordered from America and we are awaiting delivery. We have discussed a number of alternatives with Cody’s family, which have been declined.”
When asked to explain these alternatives, the hospital did not comment.