A DUMBARTON mum has hit out at the advice given by NHS 24 after her daughter's thumb was crushed when it got shut in a car door. 

Caroline Bayne's daughter was injured in the accident outside Dumbarton Academy this week.

School staff gave her an ice pack for the pain and contacted Caroline to collect her daughter.

Caroline called NHS 24 on 111 and was told by the call handler to keep the injury on ice at home.

But Caroline, concerned at the pain her daughter was suffering, took her to the minor injuries unit (MIU) at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

She is now recovering at home having had a fracture confirmed by an x-ray and had her thumb appropriately dressed in a splint.

Caroline said she knew immediately something was seriously wrong as her daughter, who has Asperger’s, has a high threshold for pain and doesn’t generally complain about being sore unless it is severe.

She said: “I phoned 111 while I was on my way to school. They weren’t happy I wasn’t with her, but I thought she needed to be seen, which is why I phoned then, to save some time.

“She had sent me pictures and I could see it was swollen.

“She had a bit of a cut and the nailbed was starting to look quite purple.

“I could see myself that it needed looked at. I wasn’t happy to be told to ice it and elevate it but I wasn’t going to argue with them on the phone. I didn’t want to sound cheeky or abrupt.”

Though more than happy at the treatment given by Vale hospital staff, Caroline also contacted local MSP Jackie Baillie to express her concern at the advice given by NHS 24.

Ms Baillie said: “I understand that our health services are stretched to their limit which was made clear when we saw the worst A&E wait times on record this week but I don’t think it is helpful for parental instinct to be bypassed and people told just to sit in pain at home and effectively wait for an injury to get worse.

“Caroline knew straight away her daughter was suffering and did the right thing by calling 111 however she was extremely dissatisfied by the advice given when she called.

“I am pleased however that on attendance at the MIU, Hannah was treated appropriately and professionally as staff at the Vale of Leven Hospital are worth their weight in gold.

“NHS 24 needs to urgently review the system and indeed this particular case as this family could have ended up unnecessarily at A&E had it escalated quickly and had Caroline not taken matters into her own hands.

“We cannot have a scenario where a young person is suffering in pain and there are highly-skilled staff available locally to sort the problem out.”

Caroline said she was well aware that people should call 111 before attending at hospital but was disappointed with the advice given and headed to the Vale.

She added: “If that had just been left, she could have gone on to do more damage.

“After a couple of minutes, the throbbing started and she was quite sore.

“It was a simple fix. We have not really added to a waiting time or been inappropriate and gone to A&E.

“We went through the right channels but it’s not working. I am disappointed in the NHS24 system.

“They can’t see over the phone and make a diagnosis of an injury. People now can’t use their common sense and their parental instinct. I knew she was in too much pain.”

Caroline, however, was full of praise for the staff at the Vale MIU.

She added: “The receptionist was really helpful. The nurse said it was a type of crush injury and said that any type of injury to fingers or limbs should always be assessed.”

“She was given a splint two sizes up because of the swelling to her thumb. The Vale were second to none. 

"We were in and out in about 45 minutes including x-rays. The staff were amazing. It’s such a good thing to have the minor injuries unit there especially when there is no A&E.”

A spokesperson from NHS 24 said: "“We are sorry to hear that she has suffered a fracture and wish her a speedy recovery.

"The advice to use ice and to elevate an injury of this type is clinically appropriate.

"As with all our calls, advice was given to re-contact 111 if the patient’s condition worsened or if there were any further concerns.

"Feedback about our services and the care we provide to patients is very important to NHS 24 and we are currently looking into the care Caroline's daughter received to understand if there are any learnings or improvements that could be made as a result.”