STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Nothing can prepare you for seeing your baby in a coffin’: Bombshell report condemns NHS 111 service as not safe for sick children over blunders that cost baby his life

  • William Mead died after developing an abscess in his left lung aged one
  • His mother Melissa, 29, of Cornwall, called NHS out-of-hours service 
  • But non-medically trained call handler failed to realise how serious it was
  • NHS England report found service ‘unsafe for seriously ill children’

The out-of-hours NHS hotline is unsafe for seriously ill children, a bombshell report reveals. The 111 service puts parents at the mercy of a box-ticking process that can miss life-threatening symptoms. The shocking finding comes in a report into the death of a baby from sepsis. It said William Mead might be alive today had a 111 call handler realised just how ill he was.

That blunder is only one of 16 that contributed to the tragedy. But many of the problems are nationwide, the report says, because:

  • GPs are pressured not to prescribe antibiotics, including to children;
  • They are reluctant to refer sick patients to crowded casualty units;
  • Patients suffer ‘loss of continuity’ when taken ill over a weekend;
  • Out-of-hours doctors cannot access patients’ medical records, often leaving them in the dark.

The report is the result of a gruelling year-long campaign by Paul and Melissa Mead to know the truth about their son William’s death in December 2014. NHS England concluded that a doctor or a nurse taking their call would probably have seen the need for urgent action. But most 111 staff, who use computer scripts, are not medically trained. Other problems included the failure of GPs to carry out basic checks for signs of sepsis, and to give William the antibiotics that could have saved his life.

Mrs Mead said no words could explain her family’s profound loss. She called for lessons to be learnt from William’s death.

Click on the link to read more and watch the NHS Direct Video which shows how the 111 service works

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3416346/Bombshell-report-condemns-NHS-hours-service-not-safe-sick-children-blunders-cost-baby-life.html

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William Mead, pictured with parents Paul and Melissa, died from sepsis after a series of medical blunders including an NHS 111 service operator not realising how serious his illness was

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

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