Medical centre ‘refused to let girl, 7, with bladder condition use staff toilet’

A mum has been left furious after a GP surgery wouldn’t let her seven-year-old daughter, who has a bladder condition, use the staff toilet.

Claire Badby asked to use the facilities at St Chad’s Medical Centre in Limeside, Oldham, after collecting her little girl Robin from school.

Robin has a medical condition, which leaves her unable to control her bladder.

Her mum thought the doctors’ surgery would be understanding of her daughter’s condition and allow her to use the toilet.

But she was shocked when instead of allowing Robin to use the facilities the pair were sent upstairs to collect a key to a public bathroom she was stood next to.

‘Robin was so upset,’ said Claire.

‘I’m literally at the buzzer, pressing it, saying I’ve got a medical card and she needs to use the toilet urgently and being told we’ve got to go upstairs and get a key – I knew she just wouldn’t make it.

‘I was only there a minute or two and then went to go try the shop next door but it was too late and she’d wet herself.’

Claire said the shop let Robin use their bathroom to clean herself up but said the experience had left her daughter ‘distraught’.

‘I think it’s cruel, I get that we’ve been through this pandemic but when you’re pleading with someone at the door there must be the ability to make an exception,’ she said.

Nurses have given Claire a medical card that she can show to places stating Robin requires urgent access to a toilet when requested due to her condition.

Claire said most places, including Robin’s school, were very understanding of her condition and allowed her to use the toilet whenever she needed.

‘We’ve never had anything like this before,’ she said.

‘We can go in shops like B&M and they let her use the toilet and the shop next door let us in too.

‘It all just comes at once and as soon as she gets the feeling that she needs to go she just has to get to the closest toilet.’

Medical centre ‘refused to let girl, 7, with bladder condition use staff toilet’

Claire said she expected a shop might turn the pair away but not a medical practice.

‘I’m just livid,’ she said.

‘It could have been someone in a wheelchair desperate to use it, surely they can make an exception? I think it’s disgusting.

‘If it was me I’d be really upset with myself for putting someone in that position.

‘I don’t think it should really have gone far enough for her to wet herself asking to use the toilet.

‘She was crying at the side of me, whilst I was on the buzzer, saying, “Mummy please I really need the toilet,” and then just apologising over and over.

‘I was trying to tell her it’s ok and it wasn’t her fault but she was just distraught. I’m not a rude person but I really did get angry.’

Following the upsetting incident, Claire said she had tried to call St Chad’s Medical Centre four times hoping to speak to the practice manager to get an explanation or apology for what happened.

She said so far, she had been unable to get in touch with the manager but had asked for her complaint to be raised with the head of the practice instead.

Practice manager Gail Mather said no members of the public were allowed to use the staff toilet at the medical centre, as it was in a clinical area.

She said: ‘I was made aware of the situation when the issue took place.

‘The lady who came to the door was directed to the public toilet in the building and said she wanted to use the staff toilet instead.

‘There’s a caretaker at the top of the stairs who anyone can go to and request access to the toilet. We have one staff toilet in a clinical area so it’s not accessible.

‘Everyone who asks about the bathroom is directed to use the public toilet.’

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