Verdict Into Baby's Death

The inquest into the death of one-year-old Hayley Fullerton, who died at Birmingham Children's Hospital, more than three years ago, has found that there were "serious failures" in her care.

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Coroner said there were multiple failings

A coroner today said that there were multiple failings at Birmingham Children's Hospital leading up to the death of a one year old baby girl three years ago.

Hayley Fullerton had a heart operation at the hospital before spending seventeen days in the Intensive Care Unit, but later died on one of the hospital's general wards of a heart attack.

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Mother says "opportunities were missed"

Paula Stevenson, Hayley's morther
Paula Stevenson, Hayley's morther Credit: ITV Central

“Our beautiful little girl would still be with us if the nurses who were supposed to be caring for her had come to her aid sooner.

"I still cannot understand how trained medics could ignore the fact that she was slowly deteriorating before their eyes.

"They had seven days to spot that something was seriously wrong but all those precious opportunities were missed."

Children's Hospital offers "heartfelt apology" to Hayley's family

"When Hayley died, we recognised that some of her care fell below our usual high standards and for this we offer a heartfelt apology for the distress that has been caused.

"We’ve taken all the steps possible to learn from this. We’ve gone beyond the recommendations of our investigation and improved the way we do things to ensure that no children or families experience anything like this again."

– Statement from Birmingham CHildren's Hospital

Calls for an urgent review over hospital death

The inquest into the death of one-year-old Hayley Fullerton, who died at Birmingham Children's Hospital, more than three years ago, has found that there were "serious failures" in her care.

“Given the trust has now admitted full liability, there needs to be an urgent review to determine whether the system failings put to the trust during the inquest, and as accepted in the trust’s own internal investigation report, have now been remedied."

– Mandy Luckman, a medical law expert

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Mother: "Hospital said I was having a tantrum, my daughter was dying

Paula Stevenson spoke today after the Coroner's verdict into the death of her one-year-old daughter Hayley, who died at Birmingham Children's Hospital in 2009.

"I knew Hayley was dying, I asked for help.

"The nurse said I was having a tantrum, she said I was having a tantrum and my daughter was dying."

– Paula Stevenson

Hayley Fullerton was flown to Birmingham from her home in Belfast for an operation to treat a condition called Pulmonary Astresia - there was a blockage that restricted blood flow from her heart to her lungs.

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Serious failings at Birmingham Children's Hospital

Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter recorded a narrative verdict to the inquest into the death of Hayley Fullerton.

He identified five failures by Birmingham Children's Hospital in the days leading up to Hayley's death.

  • 1. Nobody appears to have recognised it was unusual Hayley still needed oxygen so long after surgery. 2. A chest x-ray was not carried out in a timely manner.3. Physiotherapy to treat a collapsed lung was ordered on November 9th but not administered until 22 hours later.
  • 4. Hayley was not referred to the paediatric intensive care unit on November 9th and should have been.5. PEWS (Paediatric Early Warning System) charts on the ward were not completed often enough or accurately.

However, he said that these failings, while serious, were not gross failings and did not amount to neglect.

Paula Stevenson arrives for inquest into daughter's death

Paula Stevenson (pictured right) arriving this morning for the inquest into her daughter's death Credit: ITV Central

The verdict into the death of one-year-old Hayley Fullerton is expected to be made today, more than three years after her death.

Hayley died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2009, following corrective surgery for a heart condition.

The verdict into the death of Hayley Fullerton is expected today Credit: ITV Central

She died on November 11th, twelve days after being transferred from the hospital’s intensive care unit to a general ward.

Aidan Cotter, HM Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull is expected to deliver his verdict at 11:30 today at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall.

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