More needs to be done to make sure Oliver Hall tragedy is not repeated, says family’s solicitor
PUBLISHED: 07:30 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 06 September 2019
Solicitors representing the family of a six-year-old boy who died of meningitis B say they do not think enough is being done to reduce the likelihood of future deaths.
Oliver Hall, from Halesworth, died at the James Paget University Hospital on October 24, 2017.
An inquest concluded in June that Oliver had died as a result of natural causes but that his death had been contributed to by neglect.
Coroner Nigel Parsley made a series of recommendations in a Prevention of Future Deaths Report (PFDR) Among his concerns was how information was passed from the NHS 111 number to the East of England Ambulance Service and then onto the ambulance staff.
He identified a failure in transferring relevant information about Oliver's original symptoms that could have informed the way ambulance staff and GPs later managed his care.
He also raised concerns that medical professionals requesting an ambulance are not told of a delay if it is under 40 minutes late and that there is a lack of clarity over guidance on the treatment of sepsis.
Professor Anthony Marsh, chairman of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), responded to the report saying the failure to transfer relevant information in Oliver's case was 'very regrettable'.
He said the ambulance service had reviewed its processes to take on board all the coroner's concerns.
However, Kashmir Uppal, supervising partner on Oliver's case, from Shoosmiths solicitors, said she was disappointed by the AACE's response.
She said: "At Oliver's inquest, the Coroner identified three areas of concern regarding the ambulance service's systems and procedures which he felt needed to be addressed so as to reduce the likelihood of further deaths occurring in future.
"On the basis of the responses given, we do not think that enough is being done by the AACE to alleviate those risks. We are hopeful the Coroner, on review of the AACE's response, will make further recommendations to help resolve these potentially fatal flaws in the system."
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: "We have given careful consideration to the inquest proceedings and the coroner's comments and are conducting an internal review of this case."