Rotherham hospital investigates delays before death of five-year-old Yusuf Nazir

Five-year-old Yusuf Nazir died from pneumonia

The family of a five-year-old boy who died after hospital delays claim he could have been saved if staff had listened to their pleas for treatment.

Yusuf Nazir died of pneumonia after infection reportedly spread to his lungs, causing multiple organ failure and several cardiac arrests.

His family say it happened after Rotherham General Hospital, which had previously discharged him having prescribed antibiotics for severe tonsilitis, refused to readmit him when his condition worsened.

Yusuf's uncle Zaheer Ahmed said: "I begged them and said, 'please can you give him antibiotics. He needs intravenous antibiotics. He is struggling breathing can I please fetch him'."

Mr Ahmed said he was told there were "no resources or beds available."

Yusuf was eventually taken to Sheffield Children's Hospital by ambulance, where he died on Wednesday, 23 November.

Mr Ahmed said: "He would be here with us. We wouldn't have lost him if they had just listened to us when we were begging them for that treatment – he would have been with us today."

Yusuf was initially taken to his GP with a sore throat and was prescribed antibiotics, but when his condition failed to improve his parents drove him to Rotherham's emergency department.

His family say he then had to wait for several hours and was struggling to breathe and becoming increasingly distressed when he was finally seen.

According to Mr Ahmed, the doctor who assessed Yusuf said he had "the worst case" of tonsilitis he had ever seen.

He was given further antibiotics and sent home, but when he deteriorated further Mr Ahmed said he called the hospital and "begged them" to prescribe stronger medication.

Mr Ahmed travelled to Westminster on Tuesday to call for urgent action from the government to prevent similar tragedies.

"Something needs to be done today. If nothing gets done about it then some other person could die, someone else could suffer," he said.

The NHS trust which runs Rotherham General Hospital is now investigating the circumstances surrounding Yusuf's death.

Dr Richard Jenkins, chief executive of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Yusuf’s family.

"We have commenced a thorough investigation into Yusuf’s care, which will include liaison with Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. We have contacted the family and will continue to do so as part of the investigation.

"I want to assure families that we have an appropriately staffed medical paediatric service who provide support to our medical colleagues working within our urgent emergency care centre when required. We, like other district general hospitals in the South Yorkshire region, do not provide paediatric intensive care beds. The Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist trust who do provide paediatric intensive care beds."

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