Three-year-old boy died after NHS 'catalogue of errors'

A string of blunders by NHS workers led to the death of a three-year-old boy, a review has found.

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NHS are 'determined to make sure lessons are learned'

NHS services in Devon are "determined to ensure that the lessons really have been learnt" from the untimely death of a three-year-old who died from sepsis after a "catalogue of errors" across local health services.

Dr Graham Lockerbie spoke on behalf of Cricketfield GP Surgery, NHS Direct, out-of-hours service Devon Doctors Ltd and South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and said:

Sam and his family have been let down by the NHS. It's clear that there were shortcomings at every stage of his contact with the health service and that, in the words of the Ombudsman, Sam died when he should have survived.

All of the organisations involved recognise that opportunities to alter the tragic outcome were missed. We all accept the blame for that. For this, we, the local NHS, apologise unreservedly to Sam's family. Quite simply, we should have done better.

– Dr Graham Lockerbie

Toddler would still be alive 'if he had gotten proper care'

A toddler who died after a "catalogue of errors" at an NHS hospital caring for him while he had sepsis, would still be alive today if he had received the appropriate care, a watchdog has said.

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) Dame Julie Mellor criticised the "further injustice" the bereaved family suffered during the complaints process.

We've published this case so that the wider NHS learns from Sam's death and action is taken to help prevent lives being lost from repeated mistakes.

Sadly, this case reinforces that the NHS needs to do much more to prevent avoidable deaths from sepsis.

– Dame Julie Mellor

Dead boy's family 'failed' by NHS complaints system

The family of Sam Morrish - a young boy who died in 2010 after a series of errors by NHS staff - say they have been let down after it took "an astonishing length of time" to discover the circumstances surround his death.

In a statement published through the Patients Association, Sam's family said they and NHS staff had been failed by the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

The astonishing length of time it has taken for PHSO to finalise this report has inescapably prolonged our distress, as we have repeatedly had to revisit and relive the hardest day of our lives.

Accordingly, although we are grateful that the PHSO has upheld our complaints, and we want to thank them for the clear recommendations that they have now made, we are left with serious concerns about the competence, capability and accountability of the PHSO itself.

– Sam Morrish's family

NHS 'catalogue of errors' led to 3-year-old's death

A three-year-old boy died from a treatable condition due to a string of errors by NHS workers, a review has found.

Sam Morrish died of severe sepsis following a series of mistakes. Credit: Scott Morrish

Sam Morrish died after four separate health service organisations made repeated mistakes in his care, the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) said.

Sam died of severe sepsis in December 2010 following a "catalogue of errors" by the Cricketfield GP Surgery, by NHS Direct, by the out-of-hours service Devon Doctors Ltd and by the South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Failures included inadequate assessment of the toddler, not recognising that he was vomiting blood and a three-hour delay before he received antibiotics at hospital.

Dr Graham Lockerbie, speaking on behalf of the local NHS, said it is "determined to ensure that the lessons really have been learnt" following the findings.


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