80-mile round trip to remove two stitches

Yolanda Ward with daughter Savannah Stanberry
Yolanda Ward with daughter Savannah Stanberry

A district nurse was forced to do a 80-mile round trip to Fleet Hargate from Grantham to remove two stitches because a 14-year-old’s local surgery said it couldn’t be done there.

Doctors at Peterborough City Hospital removed a cyst from Savannah Stanberry’s face on Wednesday, January 8, and she was given a letter to give to her doctor so arrangements could be made to have the stitches removed.

Her mum, Yolanda Ward, contacted the Long Sutton Medical Centre but was told it couldn’t be done there.

Yolanda said she couldn’t believe it when she was told to call the district nurse, who said she was also unable to do it.

Former district nurse Yolanda said: “All we wanted was to have two little stitches removed but the district nurse said she couldn’t do it because Savannah was under 16.

“I was told to contact the paediatric district nurse at Grantham. I rang up and told her she would have to come after 4pm because Savannah was at school, which meant not only did she have to make an 80-mile round trip, she would have to do overtime to do it.

“When the district nurse came on Tuesday I could tell she thought it was crazy, too, but it was more than her job was worth to say anything.

”Not only was she on overtime because she should have finished at 4pm, there was the cost of fuel for a 80-mile trip.”

Yolanda said University Academy Holbeach student Savanna is a typical teenager and just wanted the stitches out quickly and without any fuss.

She said: “I know things have changed since I was a district nurse 10 years ago and budgets have been cut, but where are the savings here?

“We didn’t have different district nurses for under-16s - we cared for everybody. It just seems rediculous.”

The Lincolnshire Free Press contacted United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust about why Savannah was unable to have her stitches removed by local district nurses. However, in spite of assurances the matter was being investigated, a response was not available at the time of going to press.