1. National

NHS helpline 'missed chance' to save one-year-old William Mead

The mother of a baby whose death has thrown doubt on whether the NHS's out-of-hours helpline can identify when children have potentially deadly illnesses has described the whole situation as "soul-destroying".

Melissa Mead, 29, of Penryn in Cornwall, was speaking after an NHS England report found that 16 mistakes had contributed to the death of her 12-month-old son William.

He died from sepsis as a result of a chest infection on December 14 2014 but could have been saved if a 111 call handler, who spoke to Mrs Mead, had realised the gravity of his illness.

View all 7 updates ›

NHS England 'working with sepsis charity' after baby death

NHS England has said that it is working with a sepsis charity and child health experts to better recognise signs of the condition in babies and children.

William Mead died as a result of sepsis after a catalogue of errors by doctors and NHS 111 Credit: GMB

It follows a report out today that found 16 blunders by doctors and NHS 111 helpline operators led to sepsis going undetected in 12-month-old William Mead, who died as a result of the condition.

The tragic death of William Mead highlights the vital need for everyone, including GPs, out of hours services and NHS 111, to better recognise the early signs of sepsis.

To help reduce the risk of any other family going through such suffering, experts from Sepsis UK and the Royal College of Paediatrics and child health and the NHS are already working to prevent future similar tragic events.

We have also recognised the need for GP out of hours and 111 services to work seamlessly, and they are now being combined on a rolling basis across England.

– An NHSE spokesperson

More on this story