An adviser to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry will lead an investigation into the death and treatment of a baby girl whose case exposed a “regulatory gap” in the NHS.
Professor Peter Hutton, a senior consultant anaesthetist from the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and a former chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, will conduct the inquiry into the death and treatment of baby Elizabeth Dixon. She was born prematurely at Frimley Park Hospital in 2000 and was left with permanent brain damage after hospital staff failed to monitor or treat her high blood pressure. Less than a year later she died of suffocation when a newly qualified nurse failed to keep her breathing tube clear.
The cause of her brain damage only emerged in 2013 and her parents have a dossier of evidence suggesting their daughter’s poor care was covered up by senior clinicians in a number of organisations. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered an inquiry in September last year after Nursing Times’ sister titleHealth Service Journal highlighted the reluctance of national bodies, including NHS England and the health service ombudsman, to take on the case.
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