Thursday, 15 January 2009

Toddler sucks on used needle at 'health' centre

Here we have another example of the age old problem of a lethargic attitude in the public sector.

A toddler's parents must wait 12 months to discover whether he has been infected by a discarded needle he put into his mouth at a health centre.

Harvey Mills, aged 21 months, took the hypodermic needle from a bin in an open cupboard at Cannon Street Health Centre, Hathershaw, Oldham.

Harvey's mother Shareen Mills, 28, was holding his four-month-old brother for an injection when she looked up and saw Harvey with the needle in his mouth, standing next to an overflowing sharps bin.

Health officials have apologised and have started an investigation

I should bloody think so too.

[Gail Richards, chief executive of NHS Oldham, said:] "We have also issued immediate instructions to all NHS staff emphasising the importance of ensuring sharps bins are kept secure and used appropriately at all times."

Why should this need to be emphasised at all? Isn't it simple common sense? A jeweller wouldn't leave a display cabinet unlocked and unguarded while he/she pierced another customer's ears, yet we regularly hear of NHS workers going about their duties in an incredibly cavalier manner?

At least the jeweller would just lose some stock, which isn't ideal, but is easily rectifiable. There is more than just a financial penalty for cock-ups in the NHS though. In this case, it's possible that a child's entire future could be blighted due to one startling lack of diligence.

Source: BBC Manchester