Hereford & Worcester

Callum Cartlidge death: March over A&E cuts

Callum Cartlidge Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Callum Cartlidge was initially given antibiotics for tonsillitis

A march has taken place to remember a boy who died after paramedics were allegedly denied permission to take him to his local hospital.

Callum Cartlidge, eight, suffered a cardiac arrest at home after developing suspected sepsis.

Paramedics were allegedly told to take him 18 miles (29km) to Worcestershire Hospital and not nearby Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

An investigation into Callum's death is ongoing.

'A town in loss'

Neal Stote, from Our NHS Worcestershire, a campaign group which is trying to save services at the Alexandra, said around 500 people had turned out for the march through the centre of Redditch.

"We have spent years fighting these service cuts," he said.

Image caption Callum's family wore Chelsea shirts in memory of their son

"Having warned of the potential dangers and then seen our worst fears realised so quickly has been a terrible eye-opener for the town."

He said Callum's family had worn Chelsea shirts in honour of their son's football allegiance.

"We are a town in loss," he said. "We are marching to highlight the loss of Callum and the loss of our services."

Callum, from Redditch, had seen a GP on 28 February and was diagnosed with tonsillitis and a tummy upset and given antibiotics.

His mother Stacey said her son got worse and on 2 March a GP sent him to Worcestershire hospital.

Image caption The marchers said they wanted to highlight service cuts at Redditch's hospital

He was discharged at 23:00 BST and she was told to give him Calpol. He collapsed the next day and later died.

Sources claim paramedics wanted to take him to Redditch but were told they could not as it had stopped admitting children to A&E in September.

Three members of staff performed life support throughout the 23-minute journey to the hospital.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said it was investigating the case.

The trust, which has been in special measures since 2015, has been downgrading services at the hospital, with maternity and paediatrics having relocated to Worcester.

NHS England has said offering specialised services in a more centralised way nationally is "the best hope of improving patient care".

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