Vulnerable patient let down by hospital negligence: parents awarded £30,000

By Malcolm Underhill

The parents of a toddler who died on Christmas Day in 2012 have accepted a £30,000 compensation pay-out after the trust running Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH) in Portsmouth admitted that the tragedy could have been avoided. Anabelle Shepherd, who had a rare genetic condition called Hurler’s Syndrome, was 22 months old when she died of a serious infection at the hospital. She had previously undergone a bone marrow transplant at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) but was admitted to QAH on 23 December after becoming lethargic and not her usual self.

At the inquest into her death, coroner Keith Wiseman recorded that Anabelle was not adequately treated by hospital staff. He noted that QAH medics ‘did not give adequate recognition to her vulnerable clinical status’. Following the coroner’s verdict, Anabelle’s parents, Lee and Leanne, launched legal proceedings against the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital. Mr and Mrs Shepherd argued that an incorrect diagnosis of gastroenteritis, delayed blood tests and treatment with oral instead of intravenous antibiotics at the hospital meant their daughter’s condition deteriorated…

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