Thursday, 28 January, 2016

Parents whose baby son died let down 'in worst possible way'

NHS 'Missed' Chances To Save One-Year-Old Boy Mother slams NHS 111 helpline over baby's death
Randall Craig | 27 January, 2016, 04:59

The family of a baby who died following a string of NHS failings were let down in the "worst possible way", the Health Secretary has said.

In his statement the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said William Mead could still be alive today if an out-of-hours call handler had realised how ill he was.

"I have met William's mother, Melissa, who has spoken incredibly movingly about the loss of her son", Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told members of the British Parliament, according to the Daily Mail.

Mr Hunt described four areas of "missed opportunity" by health services where "a different course of action should have been taken", which would have led to William's survival.

Melissa Mead, William's mother, had contacted local Global Positioning System six times in the weeks leading to the child's death, but was told he simply had a cough.

William was seen by several Global Positioning System who failed to spot that his condition was deteriorating.

Monday's story about misdiagnosis in the death of a cousin of former President Bill Clinton was nothing compared to the tragedy of an infant who died in the United Kingdom, also from misdiagnosed sepsis. He had an abscess in his left lung.

The 111 call handler failed to explore further some of Mrs Mead's comments about William's condition, including that his temperature had gone from a high 40C to a low 35C - a sign of sepsis.

The NHS out-of-hours phone-line missed an opportunity to save the life of a baby who died from blood poisoning following a chest infection, a damning report has said.

Mr Hunt said the recommendations in the report had been accepted by the Government and would be implemented as soon as possible.

He added: "It also highlights limited sensitivity in the algorithms used by call handlers in the signs relating to sepsis".

He said all NHS 111 centres had expert clinicians on hand to give advice, and that it wasn't appropriate for every call to be answered by a doctor or a nurse.

Hunt added: "Fundamentally when you look at the totality of what the Mead family suffered, there is a confusion in the public's mind, which the NHS needs to address, about what exactly you do when you have an urgent care need".

"We are quite overwhelmed to be honest".

She has called for a national public heath campaign, similar to that for raising awareness of the signs of meningitis, to help people spot the symptoms of sepsis.

Mr Hunt said sepsis is responsible for 35,000 deaths a year - including 1,000 children.

Earlier, Mrs Mead told the Press Association of her heartbreak following her son's death.

Even if used properly, the 111 system was "not sensitive enough" to pick up William's illness, a "root cause" in his death, the report found. "He was so happy and we miss him terribly". We followed their guidance and we went to the doctors.

"We won't ever have that future that we had planned, that we had dreamed of".

Mrs Mead said she hoped that throwing a spotlight on William's treatment will improve the service because the situation must not be allowed to remain where parents do not trust the helpline service.

Sunday December 14: William discovered not breathing, pronounced dead at 8.40 am.

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