Whiston Hospital 'neglect contributed to toddler's sepsis death'

Parents Sam McNeice and Phil Crandle with Evie Crandle Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Fifteen-month-old Evie Crandle died two days after being taken to Whiston Hospital in St Helens

Neglect contributed to the death of a toddler after doctors failed to realise she had sepsis, a coroner has ruled.

Fifteen-month-old Evie Crandle died in April 2018 two days after being taken to Whiston Hospital in St Helens showing symptoms of the illness.

Assistant coroner Julie Goulding found a number of failures including "failure to recognise just how ill Evie was" by some hospital staff.

The hospital trust apologised for "shortfalls" in Evie's care.

Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Evie Crandle's parents said they hoped changes will be made following their daughter's death

The assistant coroner at Liverpool Crown Court concluded Evie died from natural causes which was contributed to by neglect.

She said: "If intravenous antibiotics has been given earlier, on balance, it was likely to have made a difference to the outcome."

"Evie was seen at 1:30am [on 15 April 2018, the day after initial admission]. She was perceived as floppy with highly abnormal blood gas results."

Ms Goulding said her parents Phil Crandle and Sam McNeice had also expressed concerns about changes in her behaviour and had asked medics to consider sepsis.

The inquest heard the hospital believed Evie had a urinary infection.

Image caption Evie's mother Sam McNeice said it was not nice to hear how badly neglected her daughter was at the inquest

The assistant coroner added there was a "missed opportunity for a consultant to attend" and "in some, there had been a failure to recognise just how ill Evie was".

Ms McNeice said she had mixed emotions after the coroner's ruling.

"Although it was a relief that someone's listening to you finally, and they've understood what happened wasn't right, it was not nice to hear that she was so badly neglected," she said.

"There were 15 failings for a 15-month-old little girl," she added, referring to a 15-point action plan the hospital had drawn up.

The couple's lawyer Diane Rostron said Evie's parents were "very clear she was showing signs of sepsis".

She said they were "failed by no less than six medical staff on the day and unnecessarily lost their little girl".

Mrs Rostron added that Evie should have been given antibiotics within an hour of admission, in line with national guidelines.

"Evie Crandle could and should have been saved with a simple, and timely, course of antibiotics," she said.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said it "unreservedly apologised for the shortfalls in her care" and accepted Evie's care could have been improved.

In a statement it said: "When Evie first attended A&E it was not anticipated that her condition would deteriorate so seriously.

"Sepsis is a rare and difficult condition to diagnose with symptoms similar to those of many childhood illnesses.

"Action plans have been implemented to ensure lessons have been learned."

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