Med­i­cal hot­line crit­i­cised af­ter tod­dler’s death

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Liz Hull and An­drew Levy

A CORO­NER has called for ur­gent changes to the NHS 111 hot­line af­ter an ill tod­dler died hours af­ter be­ing mis­di­ag­nosed with a tummy bug.

Natalie De­viren called the ser­vice three times in the mid­dle of the night as her two-year-old Myla vom­ited, strug­gled to breathe and de­vel­oped blue lips.

She says she was made to feel like a ‘para­noid’ mother and as­sured her daugh­ter prob­a­bly had gas­troen­teri­tis. In fact, Myla had a twisted bowel and suf­fered a car­diac ar­rest two hours later. She was taken to hos­pi­tal but doc­tors were un­able to save her.

As­sis­tant coro­ner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp recorded that Myla died of nat­u­ral causes, con­trib­uted to by ne­glect, and stressed the child would prob­a­bly have sur­vived with ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment.

Yes­ter­day it emerged she had is­sued a ‘pre­ven­tion of fu­ture deaths’ no­tice to NHS 111 along with Herts Ur­gent Care, which pro­vided the out-of-hours ser­vice, and Pub­lic Health Eng­land, urg­ing them to make im­prove­ments.

The tod­dler’s death is the lat­est linked to blun­ders at NHS 111. One-year-old Wil­liam Mead died in De­cem­ber 2014 af­ter his mother di­alled 111 but was not asked ques­tions about sep­sis symp­toms, so call han­dlers failed to di­ag­nose it.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search, coro­ners have sent sim­i­lar warn­ings to the ad­vice line re­lat­ing to 11 deaths over the past four years.

Miss Rhodes-Kemp said that, while changes had been made since Myla’s death in Au­gust 2015, she was con­cerned that more needed to be done.

She said steps should be taken for ‘a suit­ably qual­i­fied pae­di­atric spe­cial­ist clin­i­cian’ to be avail­able to talk to con­cerned par­ents at all times and the ‘de­fault po­si­tion’ should be to ‘call an am­bu­lance’.

Mrs De­viren, who lives with hus­band Matthew in Peter­bor­ough, Cam­bridgeshir­e, said: ‘We trusted their ad­vice. It’s aw­ful be­ing made to feel like you are just be­ing a para­noid par­ent.’

Myla be­gan vom­it­ing and suf­fer­ing ab­dom­i­nal pain in the early hours of Au­gust 27, 2015.

Her mother rang 111. Dur­ing her first call, at 4.06am, she men­tioned her daugh­ter’s blue lips. She called again 15 min­utes later and let the nurse hear Myla’s breath­ing. At this point, the in­quest heard, the nurse should have called for an am­bu­lance. In­stead, she put Mrs De­viren in touch with an­other nurse from the ser­vice, who mis­di­ag­nosed gas­troen­teri­tis.

Herts Ur­gent Care said since Myla’s death, staff had un­der­gone manda­tory train­ing in re­la­tion to child ill­nesses. NHS Dig­i­tal said: ‘NHS Path­ways safely triages 16.5mil­lion calls ev­ery year.’

‘We trusted their ad­vice’

Tragedy: Myla De­viren died af­ter a fa­tal mis­di­ag­no­sis

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