Severely Disabled Boy, 8, Forced To Sleep On Hospital Floor For A WEEK

02/04/2015 13:11 | Updated 02 June 2015

Downs Syndrome

A disabled eight-year-old boy has been forced to spend a week sleeping on a hospital floor because there are no suitable beds for him.

Cody Neatis has Down's Syndrome, epilepsy, autism and a mental age of one and was admitted to Royal Preston Hospital last Thursday with a chest infection.

But because he needs an adapted special needs cot to keep him safe he's had to sleep on a mattress on the floor since then, with his mum, Lynne, 48, next to him.

The mum-of-six, from Lostock Hall, Lancashire, told her local paper: "This situation has been an ongoing one for years with this hospital and I don't understand why they still don't have a suitable bed.

"We had to stay in for nine days in August 2013, I complained about it then and was told that the ward was getting a special needs bed.

"So I fully expected them to have it this time but there is still nothing.

"They have baby cots and single beds with side rails but they aren't safe as Cody rolls around so much in his sleep and is restless all night long.

"I have to sleep on the floor with him and I have had to fight for a nurse or health care assistant to be with us during the night to watch him too as I can't stay awake for 24 hours.

"It has been a very stressful and exhausting time."

Lynne and husband Stephen, 45, are full-time carers to their two youngest sons Cody and Dexter, seven, who has autism and ADHD.

Downs Syndrome

At home Cody sleeps in a specialist bed. Lynne wanted to take her son home, but he is on a ventilator while staff treat the infection and cannot leave.

She said: "I took the photo of Cody and the floor and sent it to my friend who tweeted it and that night we had a nurse.

"For the next two we had a health care assistant. They were great. The chief executive came to see me and she was really nice.

"But on the fourth night they said there was no staff again so I threatened to take him home - I took his oxygen out but they insisted we stay, and someone did come to watch him.

"Other hospitals have these beds and special needs children are admitted to hospital more often than other children so I don't understand why it's so difficult here.

"The bed wouldn't be left unused, I know of other parents who have had the same problem and have brought their own special needs beds with them from home."

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.

"We are awaiting delivery of a specialist bed from America and we have discussed a number of alternatives with Cody's family, which have been declined."

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