Girl refused hospital help

Jenna Gilbertson and her daughter Amie.
Jenna Gilbertson and her daughter Amie.

Hospital staff refused to help a schoolgirl whose mother had collapsed on the pavement directly outside the building.

Amie Gilbertson ran into the Midlothian Community Hospital in Bonnyrigg on January 5 in tears after mum Jenna passed out but the receptionists told her they couldn’t help.

Amie was forced to ring an ambulance to help her mum, with the paramedics who attended blasting the “shocking” inaction of health staff. Health chiefs have apologised and pledged a full investigation.

The drama began when Amie (13), a pupil at Dalkeith High School, went to the hospital with her mother, who was getting an X-ray on her injured wrist. Jenna felt faint as she left the hospital and collapsed to the ground outside.

Amie said: “I was so scared, I just kept screaming, ‘Mum, mum please wake up!’ But she wouldn’t wake up and nobody would help me. I’m angry and sad that the hospital acted like that, I’m just glad my mum is OK now.”

After running back out of the hospital, Amie managed to help her mum on to a bench and then phoned her dad, William, who was unable to pick them up as his vehicle had broken down. By this time Jenna had made it to the hospital car park but became unconscious again, putting young Amie into a state of complete panic.

The teenager phoned her dad again, then called an ambulance before going back into the hospital – only to be met with the same frosty response from the staff who still refused to help. Paramedics arrived at the scene and treated Jenna before giving her the all-clear after it appeared her blood pressure had dropped due to flu-like symptoms.

Jenna (38), a learning assistant from Dalkeith, said she was still “shocked” by the treatment she and Amie received from the hospital staff.

She said: “I think it’s absolutely disgraceful. I can’t believe they would treat someone like that. I know that it’s not an A&E department or anything like that but to not give a child assistance when somebody is lying unconscious is unfathomable. Who would do something like that? You would assume that hospital staff who are trained would come to the aid of a child.”

Allister Short, joint director for Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “I would like to offer a sincere apology to Jenna Gilbertson, her daughter and her family.

“We place a high value on patient care and we will be looking into this matter fully to find out what happened and what we can do to ensure something like this does not happen again.”