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Vulnerable Patient Let Down By Hospital Negligence: Parents awarded £30,000

Vulnerable Patient Let Down By Hospital Negligence: Parents awarded £30,000

The parents of a toddler who died on Christmas Day in 2012 have accepted a £30,000 compensation payout after the trust running Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH) in Portsmouth admitted that the tragedy could have been avoided. Anabelle Shepherd, who had a rare genetic condition called Hurler’s Syndrome, was 22 months old when she died of a serious infection at the hospital. She had previously undergone a bone marrow transplant at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) but was admitted to QAH on December 23rd after becoming lethargic and not her usual self.

At the inquest into her death coroner Keith Wiseman recorded that Anabelle was not adequately treated by hospital staff. He noted that QAH medics “did not give adequate recognition to her vulnerable clinical status”. Following the coroner’s verdict, Anabelle’s parents, Lee and Leanne, launched legal proceedings against the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital. Mr and Mrs Shepherd argued that an incorrect diagnosis of gastroenteritis, delayed blood tests and treatment with oral instead of intravenous antibiotics at the hospital meant their daughter’s condition deteriorated.

Parents let down by Medical Negligence

In a statement, Anabelle’s parents said: “Anabelle had gone through so much after being diagnosed with MPS type 1 – Hurler’s Syndrome and after intensive treatment she had the chance of a near normal life. It sickens us every day to think she went through all that she did to have been robbed of her life due to not receiving adequate care, especially from her home city’s hospital. Anabelle getting an infection was not a surprise to us. GOSH had warned us that this may happen and she may need to be admitted to our local hospital to receive IV antibiotics. However, sadly when we got to QAH things didn’t go as they should and the correct treatment was not given until it was far too late. Sadly she was let down by them – more should have been done.”

Mr and Mrs Shepherd added that their main concern in the case had been to highlight gaps and failings in respect of the care Anabelle received in Portsmouth. They wanted to ensure lessons were learned from her death so no other parents would have to face a similar experience and in particular wanted to ensure that local hospitals are property equipped to manage issues such as immunosuppression when a patient is admitted.

Trust makes changes

The QAH has said it has changed procedures for dealing with similar patients since Anabelle’s death and given reassurances that changes have been made to hospital procedures to minimise the risk of similar failures affecting other families. A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The case has been settled. We regret the sad events that led to Anabelle’s death and we apologise to the family”.

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you. Our goal is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

If you want to enquire about making a clinical negligence claim, please contact a member of our team on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to pi@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.