Apology for family of toddler who died on Christmas Day

The family of a toddler who died in hospital on Christmas day have received an apology and a £30,000 settlement after the health trust responsible admitted it could have prevented her death with appropriate care.

Parents accept hospital apology after daughter dies

Anabelle Shepherd who died on Christmas Day 2012 Credit: Lee and Leanne Shepherd

Lee and leanne Shepherd have accepted an apology and a £30,000 settlement after Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said their daughter Anabelle's death could have been avoided with appropriate care.

The couple’s acceptance of the settlement was on condition that it came with a written apology and admission that 22 month-old Anabelle would not have died when she did, if she had been given appropriate care at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH), Portsmouth.

Anabelle, who had a rare genetic condition, was admitted to QAH in Cosham with lethargy, four months after a bone marrow transplant.

She received treatment but her condition worsened. Anabelle was transferred to intensive care at Southampton General Hospital two days later, where she later died.

Mr and Mrs Shepherd, believe Anabelle was ‘let down at the final hurdle’ due to failings by QAH staff.

They said 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.

The QAH has said it has changed procedures for dealing with similar patients since Annabelle’s death and given reassurances that changes have been made to hospital procedures to minimise the risk of similar failures affecting other families.