A NURSERY has employed a new manager and changed its procedures after a child was rushed to A&E following an overdose of medicine.

Ladybird NHS Nursery, in Cardigan Avenue, Southend, has brought in award-winning manager Lynda Bartholomew after Ofsted judged it “inadequate”.

The children’s services watchdog inspected the nursery after a child was given too much Calpol and found it was yet to take steps to stop it happening again, according to a report just out.

Inspectors also found the nursery, which cares for 68 children, had been without a manager taking responsibility for the children’s care for a year.

The nursery appointed Ms Bartholomew, who has received Southend Council’s early years inspirational manager award, tightened up its medication procedures and made its outdoor play areas more attractive after advice from Ofsted.

Ms Bartholomew, who has ten years’ experience as a childcare manager, said: “I am passionate about outdoor play and the benefits this brings to children's health and wellbeing, I strongly believe every child in my care deserves the best possible start in life and am committed to ensuring I support the nursery team to ensure this continues to be the case at Ladybird.

“I’ll be building on the nursery’s strengths and learning lessons from the past to make positive improvements for the future.”

Ofsted visited the nursery, many of whose children’s parents work at Southend Hospital which is on the same site, in January after the overdose the previous month.

The child was given 5ml of Calpol at home between 8am and 9am, but due to a miscommunication staff administered a second dose at 11am. The child, who still attends the nursery, was taken to hospital as a precaution, but showed no ill effects.

Ofsted has said the nursery has taken “prompt and effective action” to improve after a monitoring visit last month.

In a letter to the nursery, the watchdog said Ms Bartholomew has had a “significant and positive impact on the running of the nursery”.

Staff have been retrained on how to improve outdoor activities, more stimulating activities, including water play, have been introduced, and containers with strawberries, tomatoes and flowers have been installed.

A hospital governor and staff representative raised serious concerns about the nursery after the Ofsted report.

Dr Marimuthu Velmurugan, a Westcliff GP and appointed hospital governor, said it was “totally unacceptable” for a child to overdose and Unison has asked the hospital what other childcare options staff have.

Dr Velmurugan, who is also an Independent councillor for Westborough, said: “It’s totally unacceptable. There should be zero tolerance of this.

“They have failed in their duty.

“If they are operating within the hospital grounds they should have a doctor in there.”

Sam Older, regional organiser for Unison, which represents many staff at the hospital, said: “Many of the parents of the children using the nursery are NHS staff and Unison members. "These parents are very concerned of the results of the Ofsted report.

“Hospital staff with children need a quality local nursery to care for their children while they are at work.

“Unison will be asking the hospital trust about options for staff that currently use the facility.”