This photo of a sick baby girl hooked up to a heart monitor on an A&E waiting room seat "sums up what is wrong with the NHS", her dad said.
There was nowhere else to treat little Maisie Trotter when she was rushed to Harrogate District Hospital with a sky high temperature so an ECG was performed while she laid out on a couch.
Dad Jonny, who was left gobsmacked at the situation, was tasked with ensuring his 10-month-old daughter didn't topple off onto the floor while connected to the wires.
He described the the emergency department as fairly busy but not exceptionally so.
The 27-year-old dad took the eye-opening snap to send to partner Rosie to keep her "in the loop" but now he hopes it could help "focus minds in government", he told The Sun.
"This needs to be highlighted and something needs to be done," he added.
Ex-NHS worker Rosie, 25, said she was "shocked" to see her baby undergoing medical testing of that kind in the waiting room in front of others waiting to be seen.
“The ECG is quite an invasive procedure so to do it in front of people in a waiting room and on a sofa left me shocked,” she said.
Jonny, meanwhile, said he was ringing and texting Rosie constantly to let her know what was happening as he watched one of the NHS "horror stories" he has heard so much about play out in front of his eyes.
“You hear all the time the horror stories that the NHS is struggling, lack of beds, lack of nurses, it being on its knees," the recruitment consultant continued.
“You don't really realise the full extent of it until you’re in that situation where they literally say ‘We don’t have enough beds’.
“It really shocked me and something needs to be done.”
Maisie had began vomiting and shaking before her hands turned purple at home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on Monday.
And with her temperature hitting 39.6C, her parents were advised to take her to A&E by an NHS 111 call operator.
Rosie stayed at home with the couple's eldest daughter Ellie-Mae, three, who was in bed, while Jonny took Maisie to the hospital.
“They sat us in the paediatric waiting room which is at the side of the normal waiting room at A&E," he explained.
“We were called in to triage and they did her heart rate which was 194bpm. They said they wanted to do a few more tests because her heart rate seemed a little bit high.
“They told us to go back to the waiting room and said someone would be with us as soon as possible.
“About 45 minutes later, a nurse came in and said we’re going to do an ECG on Maisie. I said, ‘OK, where do you want to do it and I’ll bring all of her stuff’.
He said the nurse just said: ‘Are we OK to do it here? It will only take five minutes’.
“I asked if we could not go to a side room and was told that they were really busy and there would be a couple of hours wait.
“I couldn’t wait an extra two hours. My daughter’s health was my priority. Who am I to question them?
“They literally laid her on the sofa. I was sat by her side just in case she rolled because I didn’t want her to fall off. They ran the ECG.
“There were three others in the waiting room at this point. It must have been quite distressing for them.
"I don’t understand why it was OK for a 10-month-old to lay on a waiting room sofa where potentially very seriously ill children have been.”
The test, which lasts a few minutes and involves placing sensors on a patient's arms, legs and chest, checked Maisie’s heart rhythm and electrical activity.
Two hours later, her heart rate was checked again by paediatric doctors and it had returned to normal, with Jonny told she likely had a viral infection before Maisie was discharged.
Jonny praised the staff he encountered, but said: “The waiting room wasn’t that busy. That’s the scary thing.
"Imagine what would have happened if it was busier.”
Hospital trust chiefs have apologised, with medical director Dr David Scullion claiming it was in fact exceptionally busy on the night in question.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “The most important thing when an ECG is done is to lay back on a flat surface.
"The sofa would have been fine in that respect.”
Dr Scullion added: “Staff were acting in Mr Trotter’s daughter’s best interests.”
The case comes after Boris Johnson enshrined his £34billion-a-year funding pledge for the NHS in law.
Rosie added: “I don’t blame the nurses at all. I feel nothing but sympathy for them.
"I worked in the NHS for seven years so I know the pressure they’re under.
"There’s just a lack of resources. The money put up by Boris is a good thing. It’s money well spent.”
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