The full text of the article follow: definitely good positives from the health authority. All hail to him for entertaining the kids as well as mending them.
I simply cannot see that it is at all likely that a kid would have been ignored for 2 hours in this way. Once again I suspect the press have chosen their words … er … carefully.
But who was it I wonder? Anyone we know? Suggests he was a newbie rider.
I waited with my sick baby for two hours as doctor rode unicycle on the ward
By Paul Stokes
A mother spent two hours waiting with her sick baby on a hospital children’s ward while the doctor they were due to see was passing in front of them on a unicycle.
After Paula Dadswell complained, she received a letter from hospital managers assuring her that in future all unicycling on the ward would be restricted to “special occasions”.
Miss Dadswell, 33, had taken her six-month-old son James to South Tyneside District Hospital, South Shields, after he fell ill.
As they waited to be seen, she watched the young doctor practising his one-wheel feats up and down the corridors of Ward 12 as nurses looked on.
He eventually put down the unicycle, picked up his notes and walked over to assess James’s condition. Miss Dadswell said she told him: “You must be joking.”
“His face went bright red. We had been asking for someone to see James for two hours and we had even told the doctor that he probably shouldn’t be cycling around in case he hurt someone,” she said.
Miss Dadswell lodged a formal complaint about his behaviour with the main reception of the hospital and received a letter of apology later that week.
The trust wrote: "All staff have been informed that such activities are to be confined to specific events, eg parties, fund-raising activities etc.
“As a children’s ward, we strive to combine professionalism with an air of informality and fun aimed at putting children at ease. I accept on this occasion that we did not succeed in achieving this compromise.”
Miss Dadswell, a Post Office worker, had contacted NHS Direct when James was having difficulty digesting his food, and it was suggested that she take him to hospital.
As they were waiting to be seen they were treated to the impromptu circus act by the man about to take on the case.
Miss Dadswell said: "We asked the doctor what he thought he was playing at, and he said he had not had the unicycle very long and was trying to learn how to ride it.
“It was as if that was more important to him than his job. There were no other children for the doctor to be entertaining; he was simply messing around with the nurses.”
James’s father, Alan Dukes, said his son was later diagnosed with an ear infection by the family GP.
Dave Shilton, the hospital’s executive director of nursing and clinical governance, said: "We have already apologised to the family.
"On the children’s ward there is a balance to strike between being professional and light-hearted. We probably misjudged the situation.
“I am not aware that the child’s care was delayed because of this. We needed this period of time for the condition to settle so we could assess it and we apologise if this wasn’t explained properly.”
South Tyneside Health Care Trust said last night that it regularly provided “diversions” not related to medical care in an attempt to make hospital visits less stressful.
“We have involved musicians, artists and others in trying to create a friendly and warm atmosphere,” said a spokesman. "The staff of our children’s unit make every effort to provide a welcoming and happy environment.
"Many parents have commented favourably on this approach and indeed about the unicycle.
“The child in question was not neglected and his care was not compromised in any way.”