The grieving family of a five-year-old boy who died after being sent home from a hospital said they are unhappy with an investigation into how he was treated.
NHS bosses in South Yorkshire have said the inquiry will be led by independent investigators from outside the region, but the family wants it to be “completely external” to the NHS.
Zaheer Ahmed, the uncle of Yusuf Mahmud Nazir, told Sky News he wants a “full independent NHS investigation”.
Ahmed said the health service “wants to do an external investigation by someone from the NHS outside the district.” And he added: “We are still in the talks and we are requesting that it be completely external.”
Mr Ahmed previously told Sky News that Yusuf would still be alive if the family had been heard.
He said he “begged and begged” for his nephew to be admitted to Rotherham General Hospital with a throat infection, but was told there were “not enough beds and not enough doctors”.
After the boy was examined there on Monday, November 14, he was sent home, despite the fact that the doctor treating his nephew said “it was the worst case of tonsillitis he had ever seen,” according to Ahmed.
At home, his condition deteriorated and he was later taken by ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, but it was too late to save the boy’s life.
The infection had spread to his lungs and caused multiple organ failure resulting in several cardiac arrests, and he died of pneumonia on Monday, November 21.
The head of the hospital apologizes
Rotherham hospital chief executive Dr Richard Jenkins met Mr Ahmed and apologized to him and his family.
Ahmed said: “For me, it’s an acknowledgment that ‘we (the NHS) know we’ve made a mistake… and we’re working very hard to rectify that mistake.’
“But that mistake shouldn’t have happened. It cost Yusuf his life.”
Ahmed said more was needed.
“We want action, apologies aside, we want answers, why did it cost Yusuf his life, who is responsible, what is going to be done, what has been done?”
Ahmed said NHS officials had told him that since Yusuf’s death, the hospital has recruited another pediatric doctor to work in the emergency department and reduced waiting times for children there.
He said that the night Yusuf was examined, there were 93 children in A&E and only one doctor to see them.
‘We want the truth’
Ahmed said: “We want the hospital to reveal the truth to everyone. We want answers, to make changes and put things in place, so that no other family suffers, no other child suffers, no other human being suffers.”
Dr Jenkins said in a letter to the family’s MP, Sarah Champion, that he spoke to Yusuf’s uncle to “directly express my condolences and apologize to the family.”
Dr Jenkins wrote: “We were all devastated to hear the family’s account of their experience of care and Yusuf’s eventual death in Sheffield.
“It is vital that a thorough and independent investigation be carried out as soon as possible so that the family can have answers to their concerns and we can identify where changes need to be made.”
“Clearly, clinical care assessment and decisions require appropriate expertise, so I am liaising with regional NHS colleagues in England to identify appropriate independent investigators from outside South Yorkshire.”
In the letter, Dr. Jenkins also explained that the investigation “will involve the family in this so that we can be sure that all of their concerns will be fully addressed.”
Yusuf first complained of a sore throat on November 13. His parents took him to his GP who prescribed antibiotics.
The following day, when their son’s health failed to improve, he was taken to the emergency department at Rotherham General Hospital.
Dr Jenkins said the inquiry aims to cover “the entire pathway of Yusuf’s care, including visits with his GP, attendance at Rotherham hospital urgent and emergency care center and subsequent contact family, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. .