Forest Town mum angry at hospital after autistic son almost 'gouged out his own eye'

Hospital bosses say they are ‘sorry' to hear a severely autistic teenage patient from Forest Town ‘wasn’t treated appropriately’ after his mother criticised the care he received.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 3:39 pm

Sally Hayward says she is ‘disgusted’ at 15-year-old son Ashley’s experience at King’s Mill Hospital – claiming doctors failed to carry out a ‘full examination’ on a painful eye problem and left him waiting hours to be seen.

Furious Sally also says Ashley almost ‘gouged his own eye out’ in distress after he was taken to King’s Mill on April 27.

Now she wants ‘lessons to be learned’ over the treatment of disabled children with complex needs and has put in a formal complaint.

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Forest Town mum Sally Hayward and her son Ashley.

“Because of his severe autism and challenging behaviour they didn’t do a full examination, just sent us home with numbing drops and antibiotic cream. I felt fobbed off,” said Sally.

“Ashley’s eye got worse. I rang our GP who got us an eye appointment, they said it was a scratched lens. We were given another hospital appointment for 2.30pm the next day.

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"Ashley’s eye was now so sore, he was poking it, he couldn't open his eye, or lift his head off the pillow. He got more and more upset about the pain and discomfort.

Ashley Hayward's sore eye.

“We couldn’t wait until 2.30pm, so we went straight back to the hospital in the morning. Ashley was screaming, his eye bleeding.

"I begged them to sedate him. I’d had to stop him from trying to gouge his own eye out.”

Sally told Chad how she felt ‘appalled’ after one doctor told her ‘it’s not my fault your son has something wrong with him’.

"They said he’d go down to theatre,” she told Chad. “We waited eight hours until 7pm. Ashley wasn’t coping with the wait. They suggested we stay over, but he couldn’t have handled the noises and could have disturbed other patients, so we went home.”

Ashley Hayward's sore eye.

Sally and Ashley returned to hospital the following day when he was sedated, but the mother-of-four says once again her son was left waiting – which led to the sedation wearing off.

Eventually he was given gas to ease the pain before he was told he had a rare eye condition.

“The hospital needs to learn how to deal with people like Ashley,” said Sally.

"My son was treated like a second class citizen. As his mum I feel there is a long way to go treating people with disabilities and complex needs, it deeply saddens me. There needs to be a change. I’m beyond appalled by Kings Mill.”

In response, Julie Hogg – chief nurse at Sherwood Forest Hospitals’, the trust which runs King’s Mill – said she was ‘sorry to hear’ Sally felt her son had not been treated ‘appropriately’.

"We want all of our patients to receive the care that we would want for a loved one, this includes those patients with complex needs or disabilities,” she said.

"Our colleagues are trained in treating and communicating with people with complex needs and we have provision in place to support this.

“We are also committed to listening and improving our services.

"Our Patient Experience Team have made contact with Ashley’s mother again to request more information so that we can have a discussion with her and start an investigation if she wishes.”

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