Suffolk

Oliver Hall: Grieving parents criticise ambulance service

Oliver Hall Image copyright Hall family
Image caption Ollie died less than 24 hours after contracting meningitis B

The parents of a six-year-old boy who died from meningitis after "gross failures" to diagnose him quickly have criticised the ambulance service.

Oliver Hall, of Halesworth, Suffolk, died the day after paramedics and doctors failed to diagnose his condition in October 2017.

Ambulance control room staff had failed to pass on relevant information to the paramedics treating him.

The East of England Ambulance Service said it was carrying out a review.

An inquest previously heard faster diagnosis could have saved Oliver.

His parents first phoned the NHS 111 service when he complained of a headache, sore jaw and fever on 23 October 2017.

But an inquest heard vital information that NHS 111 had passed on to East of England Ambulance Service Trust had not been shared with frontline staff.

This made it difficult for paramedics and GPs to make an appropriate clinical assessment.

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Media captionThe six-year-old had been assessed by paramedics and GPs the day before he died

In response to a scathing death prevention report the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) said it had taken a number of steps to address concerns. It said the failure to pass on information was "regrettable".

However, Oliver's parents have criticised the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, saying not enough was being done to prevent future deaths.

They said: "Systems need to be put in place to ensure that this cannot happen again, we have to live with the consequences forever; living our lives without our much-loved son."

An inquest found Oliver's cause of death was natural causes contributed to by neglect, due to the gross failure to provide basic medical treatment.

The family's solicitor, Kashmir Uppal, said the AACE response showed not enough was being done to alleviate "potentially fatal flaws" in the system.

The ambulance service said: "We have given careful consideration to the inquest proceedings and the coroner's comments and are conducting an internal review of this case."

Image copyright Hall family
Image caption Oliver died less than 24 hours after contracting meningitis B

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