An under-fire children's hospital in Bristol has defended its record
after a second family claimed inept care killed their son.
Bosses at Bristol Children's Hospital admitted earlier this month that a child died partly due to bank holiday staff shortages. Now a grieving family is calling for a public inquiry, claiming chronically low standards are putting children's lives at risk. In particular they claim children on Ward 32 are in danger because of staff shortages and lack of proper training.
Stephen and Yolanda Turner claim their son Sean's case is not isolated
and have urged other parents to come forward with their own stories.
Sean, four, died of a brain haemorrhage in March after previously
suffering a cardiac arrest while on the ward. His death at the hospital
came six weeks after he underwent vital corrective heart surgery.
The couple, from Warminster, claim they pleaded for Sean to
be returned to intensive care as his condition worsened. They later hit
out in an official letter of complaint which lists a host of
shortcomings regarding their son's care.
They claim ward hygiene was poor, staff incompetent and Sean neglected
to the point where he had an avoidable cardiac arrest. They have come
forward publicly after being struck by the similarities of Sean's death
to an earlier tragedy.
Luke Jenkins, seven, was expected to make a full recovery after
successful corrective surgery at the hospital. But Luke, from Cardiff,
died after suffering a cardiac arrest on a bank holiday within a week of
his operation. His heart stopped for 43 minute before he was
resuscitated, after which he underwent exploratory surgery. He died the
His death was due in part to the duty surgeon having to be urgently
called in from home on Good Friday when Luke collapsed. Junior nursing
staff lost vital time because they did not know where resuscitation
equipment was kept, it later emerged.
The emergency team was also unfamiliar with the equipment because
cardiac arrest was rare in the ward environment, the hospital claimed.
In both cases the children were transferred from the intensive care unit
to Ward 32 too rapidly, according to their parents.
Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS
Foundation Trust, said: "We care for some of the sickest children,
coming to us for very complex surgical procedures.
"Whenever something goes wrong, it is devastating, for the child and
parents and also for our team. When we provide care that falls short of
what we expect we always seek to learn from it and we have formal
processes that enable us to do this and share lessons. When a child dies
in hospital, external reviews are also conducted and form part of that