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Hospital delays cause death of toddler

A critical scan, which could have saved the life of a three-year-old boy, was missed, because of a glitch in the computer system used at the Royal United Hospital (RUH), Bath. Samuel Starr had waited almost two years for a check-up following heart surgery after his birth.
Samuel needed continuing heart scans to ensure that his condition was still stable. Although, his parents chased up the hospital regularly, it took them 20 months to get him this crucial check-up, by which time his condition had worsened and he needed urgent surgery at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. He suffered a stroke during the surgery and died a month later in his parents’ arms.
His parents, Paul Starr and Catherine Holley, obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act, which showed there were 63 cardiac appointments for children missed at the hospital around the time they had not been able to get an appointment for their son Samuel.
The coroner, Maria Voisin, ruled that the booking system, which failed, had left Samuel without help or treatment.
This is not the only example of delays in treatment either. A report by the Royal College of General Practitioners suggests that there is often a delay in cancer treatments for patients due to system and administration issues. This means that patients suffering from lung cancer experienced a delay caused by administration or system issues, of between one day and nearly two months.
In addition, many lung cancer suffers were not given specific follow-up appointments, with some waiting seven months before being seen by their GP again.
Administration and system delays are not acceptable, as early treatment for conditions means a far better outcome.
If you or a family member have suffered through treatment delays, speak to a clinical negligence solicitor who can give you the help and guidance you need – call 01302 320621

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