Ben, two, lives near Leyburn and has had a slight cold for a couple of days. By Monday afternoon he has developed a high fever, stiff neck and has a rash which his mum is worried about and rings for an urgent GP appointment. The GP, who sees Ben, is also concerned and suspecting meningitis, gives the appropriate medication of penicillin and rings 999 for an ambulance.
What happens next
The ambulance takes Ben to the nearest hospital – Darlington Memorial Hospital – where he has blood tests and receives the appropriate fluids and antibiotics. The doctors and nurses feel that Ben is seriously unwell and needs paediatric intensive care, so they phone the paediatric intensive care unit in Newcastle who send their specialist team to collect him. After a few days in intensive care, Ben is recovering well and returns to Darlington for daily antibiotics. After a couple of days in hospital, Ben is discharged home and receives his last two days of antibiotics at home, near Leyburn, given by a children’s community nurse. Ben is offered follow-up with one of the local paediatric consultants at a clinic in Catterick.