A mother recounts how her four-year-old son died in the hands of a “rude and abrupt” NHS 111 operator after failing to spot some dangerous symptoms.
In June 2016, Sherry Keane from Liverpool called the health advice line as her son, Jaydan-Lee, started vomiting and became lethargic.
However, the call handler failed to drill into the details of Jaydan-Lee’s condition, and failed to identify deadly signs or call an ambulance.
The next day, the boy died from meningococcal septicaemia.
An investigation launched at that time concluded that Jaydan-Lee would have made a full recovery should he had received the proper medical advice.
Keane expressed her dismay when she learned that the female call handler who handled her son’s case is still working for 111.
“It’s disgusting that she has been given a second chance,” said Keane. “My little boy hasn’t got a second chance – he’s not here because she didn’t do her job properly.”
“She was rude, and didn’t seem to care about my son or his condition. She talked over me, kept interrupting and was dismissive as if she just wanted the call to end.”
“I was in a state, totally freaked out and worried about my little boy and her manner made me feel like I was a paranoid mother who shouldn’t be wasting her time,” she added.
“She didn’t listen to me – if she had my little boy would still be here today.”
The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has since admitted medical negligence, and awarded Keane with £15,000 ($19,000) compensation.
“No amount of money can bring my little boy back. But the trust has changed its policy and now the call handlers have to be medically trained,” Keane said.
“It’s too late for my little boy, but I hope my actions will stop another family having to go through what I had to.”