DOC­TORS ‘MISSED CHANCES TO SAVE ROSIE’

GIRL WENT TO MEDICS WITH LUMP IN NECK BUT CAUSE WAS UN­DI­AG­NOSED

Leicester Mercury - - Front Page - By CIARAN FA­GAN ciaran.fa­gan@reach­plc.com @cia­ranefa­gan

A CORO­NER has told Le­ices­ter’s hos­pi­tals to hold an in­quiry af­ter doc­tors missed chances to di­ag­nose and treat a girl’s can­cer.

Rosie Anne Brind­ley, 10, of Lough­bor­ough, saw a num­ber of GPs and spe­cial­ists af­ter she de­vel­oped a lump in her neck in early 2015, but tests failed to es­tab­lish she was suf­fer­ing from Hodgkin lym­phoma.

The can­cer left her un­able to fight off an in­fec­tion in July 2016.

DOC­TORS missed a series of chances to di­ag­nose and treat the can­cer which led to the death of a “happy and lov­ing” 10-year-old girl, an in­quest has ruled.

Rosie Anne Brind­ley, of Lough­bor­ough, saw a num­ber of GPs and spe­cial­ists af­ter she de­vel­oped a lump in her neck in early 2015.

She died in July the fol­low­ing year af­ter med­i­cal tests failed to es­tab­lish that she was suf­fer­ing from Hodgkin lym­phoma.

The un­di­ag­nosed can­cer at­tacked Rosie’s im­mune sys­tem, leav­ing her pow­er­less against the in­fec­tion sep­ti­caemia, which killed her, a coro­ner said at the con­clu­sion of a four-day in­quest.

The hear­ing, in Rosie’s home town, heard a series of med­i­cal teams ex­am­ined the lump on her neck but a biopsy was not taken and MRI and ul­tra­sound scans were “mis­in­ter­preted”.

The in­quest heard on the day be­fore her death, in July 2016, Rosie went home from school feel­ing un­well.

Her fa­ther found her un­con­scious the next morn­ing.

She was pro­nounced dead at home a short time later af­ter ef­forts to re­sus­ci­tate her proved fruit­less.

As­sis­tant coro­ner Tanyka Raw­den said it was “un­likely” Rosie would have died if her treat­ment had been dif­fer­ent.

The girl’s par­ents, Ste­fan Brind­ley and Sa­man­tha Row­ley-Hill, said they hoped her legacy would be the pre­ven­tion of fur­ther deaths.

Sa­man­tha, 42, said: “Rosie was a very happy and lov­ing lit­tle girl.

“We moved to Lough­bor­ough from Thur­mas­ton four years ago and didn’t know a sin­gle per­son.

“Within a week of mov­ing into our house, Rosie got to know peo­ple, in­clud­ing some of the older peo­ple who live close by. Be­fore we knew it, we would be walk­ing down the street and some­one would say ‘you’re Rosie’s par­ents aren’t you?.’

“Even though we told her not to talk to strangers, there was some­thing in her na­ture that made her want to meet peo­ple.

“She had a big heart and we miss her ev­ery day.

Ste­fan, 41, said: “Rosie al­ways wanted to help peo­ple. She al­ways put oth­ers be­fore her­self and she never let her ill­ness stop her. “She was al­ways so brave.” Ms Raw­den said it was “more likely than not” Rosie was ex­hibit­ing early symp­toms of the can­cer when she vis­ited her GP in April 2015 about the lump in her neck.

At that stage, Ms Raw­den said, the can­cer would not have been “ex­ten­sive” or “life-threat­en­ing.”

The “mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion” of sub­se­quent scans, par­tic­u­larly an ul­tra­sound, re­sulted in a Rosie be­ing re­ferred to a team not man­aged by pae­di­atric on­col­o­gists.

Ms Raw­den said: “Had the ul­tra­sound scan of Oc­to­ber 2015 been cor­rectly in­ter­preted, it is likely Rosie would have been re­ferred on the cor­rect path­way.

“Had she been so re­ferred, it is un­likely she would have have died.”

Ms Raw­den told Univer­sity of Le­ices­ter Hos­pi­tals Trust to re­con­sider its po­si­tion on hold­ing an in­quiry.

This was nec­es­sary, she said, be­cause a num­ber of med­i­cal staff mem­bers who gave ev­i­dence to the in­quest had in­di­cated they would fol­low the same course of ac­tion if pre­sented with the same cir­cum­stances.

Coro­ners have le­gal pow­ers to com­pel pub­lic bod­ies to con­duct in­ter­nal in­quiriess.

In a state­ment, her mother and fa­ther said: “We are hor­ri­fied an in­ter­nal in­quiry has not been done in the past three-and-a-half years and that there is still is still a re­luc­tance to per­form an in­quiry and change prac­tices.

“We hope that our daugh­ter did not die in vain.”

Speak­ing af­ter the hear­ing, the fam­ily’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Mehmood Duke, said com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween branches of the NHS had been poor.

She said: “What has emerged is that com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the spe­cial­i­ties and be­tween GPs and the hos­pi­tals re­mains a crit­i­cal prob­lem in the NHS.

“All that the fam­ily can hope for now is that lessons have been learned and that fu­ture deaths can be pre­vented.

“Here we had a 10-year-old girl who was sent down an adult path­way in­stead of a pae­di­atric one.

“This set off a chain of events which led to a num­ber of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties to di­ag­nose Hodgkin lym­phoma.”

A spokesman for the hos­pi­tals trust said: “Our thoughts re­main with Rosie’s fam­ily.

“We will now take some time to re­flect on the ver­dict shared to­day and con­sider how best to share the learn­ing in­ter­nally.

“We will not be mak­ing any fur­ther com­ment at this time.”

LEGACY HOPES: Ste­fan Brind­ley and Sa­man­tha Row­ley-Hill. Right, daugh­ter Rosie

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