Preston hospital bosses under fire again for lack of special beds

SAFE: Timmy Pettitt in his special high-sided bed in hospital at Sheffield
SAFE: Timmy Pettitt in his special high-sided bed in hospital at Sheffield
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Hospital bosses in Preston have come under fire from a second family over the lack of special beds for youngsters with severe disabilities.

The parents of teenager Timmy Pettitt from Leyland say they were forced to move their son to an infirmary 70 miles away in Sheffield because the Royal Preston Hospital was unable to care for him.

It is totally baffling that Sheffield can get a bed for Timmy, but our local hospital can’t meet his needs,” said mum Alison.

The latest case follows revelations in the Evening Post this week about eight-year-old Cody Neatis having to sleep on a mattress on the floor of the children’s ward because RPH doesn’t have a specially designed cot to keep him safe in his sleep.

“It is totally baffling that Sheffield can get a bed for Timmy, but our local hospital can’t meet his needs,” said mum Alison.

“They have told us the only suitable bed they can find is in the United States, but Sheffield have been able to buy theirs in this country – in fact, in the north of England. You can even get them on eBay.”

Timmy, who has just passed his 18th birthday, has complex medical problems and, like Cody from Lostock Hall, needs specialist care.

“We have reached the point where he can’t even sleep on a mattress on the floor any more,” said Mrs Pettitt.

“So effectively he can’t be admitted to our local hospital. Sheffield offered us a suitable bed for him and so he went there. We have talked to Preston and, for some reason, they won’t buy the same kind of bed.

“They should be ashamed. Why won’t they follow what other hospitals do? OK, the bed in Sheffield isn’t perfect, but compared with sleeping on the floor, it’s fine. Derian House have two or three of them, Timmy’s respite unit have two. But RPH say the only suitable ones are in America.”

A spokesman for RPH said the hospital had looked at the Sheffield bed and decided it wasn’t completely safe. A more suitable bed would be arriving from the US in weeks and a further one by the end of the year.