Mother who waited 24 hours in A&E with baby says nurse laughed at her
3rd December 2018

Mother who waited 24 hours in A&E with her 10-month-old daughter suffering from hand, foot and mouth says nurse laughed at her when told baby was dehydrated

  • Chelsea Clarke, 21, took baby Dolcie-Rae to hospital with high temperature
  • Was sent home with medicine but was back at Basildon Hospital A&E next night
  • She said nurse laughed when told Dolcie-Rae only drank 2oz of water in day 
  • Ten-month-old Dolcie-Rae was finally taken to a ward around 2.30pm next day

A mother was forced to wait 24 hours in A&E when she went to the hospital twice with her 10-month-old baby who was suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease.

Chelsea Clarke, 21, said she was treated poorly by members of staff after she took her baby, Dolcie-Rae, to hospital with an extremely high temperature.

The mother-of-one said her daughter developed a rash that covered her whole body while in the A&E waiting room at Basildon Hospital on Saturday 24 November.

Chelsea Clarke’s daughter Dolcie-Rae (pictured) developed a rash ‘on every part of her body’ while they were waiting in the A&E waiting room at Basildon Hospital

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Miss Clarke, from Laindon, Essex, said: ‘She had a rash on every part of her body. She had a rash in her ears and eyes.’

The young mother was told her daughter had hand, foot and mouth disease and was sent home that night with medicine.

Miss Clarke took her daughter back to A&E at around 6pm the following day after Dolcie-Rae showed no sign of improvement.

She said: ‘We were in the main A&E outside the X-ray because she was contagious.

‘Dolcie had not drunk anything or eaten all day. She didn’t have any wet nappies and they didn’t seem concerned.’

Miss Clarke claims that when she took her daughter (left and the rash on her leg right) back to hospital for the second time a nurse laughed at her for saying Dolcie hasn’t drank much 

Miss Clarke also claims a nurse laughed when she told her Dolcie had only drunk two ounces of water that day.

The mother said she was disgusted by the way she was treated by staff in A&E.

Miss Clarke and her daughter were waiting in A&E overnight before her daughter was taken to a ward at around 2.30pm on November 26.


Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection that causes lesions to form on a sufferer’s hands, feet and mouth.

It can also affect the buttocks and genitals.

The condition is not related to foot and mouth disease in animals.  

HFMD is usually not serious and does not require treatment, however, it can cause secondary infections if skin is scratched.

It is most common in children under 10, with outbreaks occurring at nurseries and schools. 

She added: ‘I really don’t think that letting a mum wait with a baby less than a year old for so many hours overnight is acceptable.’

Dolcie-Rae stayed on the ward overnight and was discharged on November 27 and is now recovering at home.

She added: ‘The hospital apologised but it shouldn’t have come from them. It should have come from the nurses.’

Basildon Hospital has admitted Miss Clarke had a poor experience and the member of staff is being investigated.

The hospital also apologised to Miss Clarke for her experience, which was caused by a busy A&E.

Dawn Patience, director of nursing at Basildon Hospital, said: ‘We are committed to providing our patients with high quality care and when we experience exceptionally high attendances to A&E staff work hard to avoid the long waits this patient and her mum experienced and we have personally apologised to her.’

The hospital also stated that ‘quick action’ was taken to address the complaint against the member of staff, who has since been moved to a different ward.  

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