Inquest rules negligence after death of 14 year old

26 Oct 2015 | Stephanie Prior

An inquest has ruled that Whipps Cross Hospital, which is part of the Bart NHS Trust was negligent in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis, which resulted in the death of a fourteen year old child

The parents, who are clients of Stephanie Prior at Osbornes Solicitors, attended the GP with their son who had been unwell for a number of days. On seeing him, the GP advised the father to take his son to hospital immediately. On attending Whipps Cross Hospital the boy was assessed in A&E by a junior sister and SHO who discharged him. His parents returned to the hospital in the early hours of the following morning with their son who was in cardiac arrest. The hospital was unable to resuscitate and he tragically died.

Whilst the coroner did not consider that the actions of the NHS Trust amounted to manslaughter or gross negligence, the coroner did not conclude the cause of death as natural causes on its own.

The coroner listed a number of failures of the hospital including failure to take and record observations of the patient failure to liaise with the GP and failure of the doctor to recognise the red flag signals present.

The coroner concluded that the death was due to natural causes contributed by neglect.

Stephanie who is head of medical negligence at Osbornes Solicitors who represented the parent’s comments:

“The ruling by the coroner is not a victory for my clients; rather it is the admission that the appropriate tests and practices were not followed. Tragically, had this been the case, it is highly likely that my client’s son death would have been avoided. The coroner noted that the NHS Trust has taken steps to rectify the various failings of the hospital and hopefully this will prevent such a death from occurring again, whilst this is a positive action on the part of the trust, it does not turn the clock back and leaves a family destroyed by the loss of a much loved son and brother”.

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