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Coroner records narrative verdict in toddler's death

A Coroner has recorded a narrative verdict into the death of toddler Samuel Starr, after a computer failure led to the boy's death.

A view of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Concluding a three-day inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court in North Somerset,Avon Coroner Maria Voisin said: "Samuel Starr was born with a complex cardiac disease.

"He required surgery and regular check-ups at outpatients to manage his conditions.

"Due to the failure of the hospital outpatients booking system, there was a five month delay in Samuel being seen and receiving treatment.

"Samuel's heart was disadvantaged and he died following urgent surgery."

Computer 'failure' led to Samuel's death

A three-year-old heart patient died after a new NHS computer system "failed" to schedule him for a vital hospital scan - leading to a delay in his treatment, a coroner has ruled.

Undated family handout photo of three-year-old Samuel Starr. Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

Samuel Starr, who was born with a congenital cardiac defect, underwent surgery not long after his birth in 2010 and made a good recovery.

However, medics said he would still need regular tests to check on his progress at Bath's Royal United Hospital.

But a delay came after a new computer system, called Cerner Millennium, was rolled out and Samuel did not have a crucial scan for 20 months after his first major operation.

When he finally had the appointment, doctors found Samuel needed open heart surgery. During the procedure, Samuel suffered a stroke.

Further complications followed and he died in the arms of his devastated parents, Catherine Holley and Paul Starr, a month later.

Avon Coroner Maria Voisin today, recording a narrative conclusion, ruled the booking system meant Samuel was not seen and did not receive treatment.


Lib Dem MP Don Foster to stand down at next election

Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster will stand down at the next General Election, The Bath Chronicle reported.

The MP for Bath said he had taken the "very difficult decision" to step aside "after what will have been 23 wonderful years".

He wrote on Twitter after the announcement was leaked:

Man, 44, released on bail after murder arrest

On Tuesday November 19 police arrested a Bath man on suspicion of the murder of Melanie Hall.

The 44-year-old was arrested at his home in the city at around 8.30am and was questioned by detectives a police station in Bristol.

Melanie's parents Steve and Pat Hall were informed.

Police also searched a house in the Roundhill Park area of Twerton as part of the on-going investigation.

The man was released on bail on the evening of November 20.

– Avon and Somerset Police

Man arrested on suspicion of student murder

Melanie Hall vanished after a night out at Cadillacs nightclub in Walcot Street, Bath, in June 1996. Credit: PA Archive

A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a university graduate whose remains were found near a motorway four years ago.

The 44-year-old was arrested at his home last week as part of the investigation into the death of 25-year-old Melanie Hall.

Miss Hall, who worked at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, vanished after a night out at Cadillacs nightclub in Walcot Street, Bath, in June 1996.

On October 5, 2009, human remains were found by the side of the M5 by a workman who was clearing vegetation on the slip road at junction 14, near Thornbury, south Gloucestershire.

Two days later, the remains were identified as those of Miss Hall, from Wiltshire.


More than 7,000 southwest properties without power

More than 7,000 properties in the Bristol and Bath area have reportedly been left without power as a severe storm battered England and Wales overnight.

Trees have blocked roads and brought down power cables overnight. Credit: ITV News

Widespread flooding hit southern parts of the country as rain and winds of almost 100mph arrived from the southwest.

Trees have been brought down by high winds, damaging properties and power cables, while a number of roads are impassable due to floodwater.

Death of girl, four, crushed by wall is ruled 'accidental'

Surranna Stonestreet died in May after she became trapped beneath a wall in her garden. Credit: Facebook

The coroner at the inquest of a four-year-old girl who died after a wall collapsed on her has recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Surranna Stonestreet died in the back garden of her home in Bath in May. Her father was demolishing the garden wall when she became trapped underneath.

See ITV West Country for more on this story.

Schoolboy hit by ambulance believed to be aged 10

The schoolboy who was hit by ambulance in Bath who was thought to be 14 is now believed to be 10.

He was taken to the city's Royal United Hospital after the accident at the junction of London Road and Snow Hill near the River Avon, she added.

Due to the serious condition of the patient, police gave permission for the ambulance to leave the scene to take him to hospital.

Clearly our primary concern is for the patient and his family - senior executives from South Western Ambulance Service have travelled to Bath and will offer to meet with the family.

We are also ensuring the crew involved are fully supported.

We are also working closely with the police to ensure the circumstances surrounding this serious incident.

– South Western Ambulance Service spokeswoman
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