Family tells of ‘appalling condition’ of Queen’s Hospital, Romford, kids’ A&E

A family with an acutely ill baby was made to wait for hours in Queen’s Hospital in a room strewn with rubbish, bowls of dried sick and wet tissue.

Six-month-old Archie Wright was taken to hospital in the evening of Monday, November 26 suffering from suspected dehydration. Archie’s family, including grandmother Judith Burrells and dad Michael Wright, arrived in the children’s A&E department to find sweet wrappers, tissue, bags of rubbish and spilt coffee on the floor, and used sick bowls in the changing area and the children’s toy box.

“The floor area was rank,” said Mr Wright, 27. “There were coffee cups and newspapers on the floor – everything. It wasn’t nice.

“And then above all the mess was a sign saying ‘Please keep this area tidy’.”

Ms Burrells added: “How anyone thinks you can take a baby into that area for changing is beyond belief. We had to change Archie a number of times on our lap in front of other patients.”

She said the family had asked a member of staff about the mess, and been told that they could either see patients or clean the area.

“There were people carrying their kids out into the adult A&E waiting area, behind people suffering drugs overdoses, because it was cleaner in there.”

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A&E matron Mary Feeney-Chirgwin said: “We would like to apologise to Ms Burrells and to any other families who were in the paediatric waiting room that night.

“We have thorough and regular cleaning throughout the day, and overnight our staff are expected to be vigilant and to keep the area as clean as possible, calling rapid response cleaners as necessary.

“Of course we would also hope that anyone using that area would use the bins provided. If a member of staff is alerted to any mess we would expect them to deal with it immediately.

“We will now be looking at extending and improving our cleaning service overnight.”