A coroner has slammed a hospital over the treatment of a premature baby in the hours before his death
Three-week old Karl Steven Clark-Davies died after developing pneumonia at Salford Royal Hospital - just six days after his twin sister Ria had died.
The twins had been born two months premature after being conceived by IVF treatment. Their father Karl Davies, from Walkden, had frozen his sperm while undergoing treatment for leukaemia but died while fiancée Michelle Clark was six months pregnant.
Bolton Coroners Court heard how night shift staff at the hospital had failed to record vital tests on Karl’s blood pressure, temperature and breathing and hadn’t responded to emergency alarms on hospital equipment.
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, deputy coroner Alan Walsh told staff they had let down baby Karl and his family. He said: "The omissions in recording areas of observation which could have given clinical signs of infection were wholly unacceptable.
"I am not satisfied with what I have heard of the practices that were carried out. Staff capable of carrying out certain tests did not do so and antibiotics which were prescribed by a consultant were not administered."
But having been told of the hospital Serious Incident Review into the case, the coroner chose not to report the hospital for the string of serious errors.
He said: "It appears to me that the hospital share my concerns and were equally disturbed about the events of that night."
Matron Maxine Pamphlett-Jones, who lead the investigation into the case, told the court that hospital bosses were currently looking at bringing disciplinary procedures against staff involved in the case, and apologised directly to Karl’s family.
She said: "We remain very, very disappointed that Karl did not get the standard of treatment and quality of care that he should have had that night.
"Our concern is not only for Karl but for other babies being treated by the doctors and staff in that unit and to make sure nothing like this can ever happen again."
RWB spoke to Salford BNP officials Gary Tumulty and Keith Fairhurst, who were both horrified by the lack of care shown to a premature baby in a supposedly modern hospital.
Gary Tumulty, Salford organiser said, ' It's terribly sad that a young life didn't stand a chance because of the ineptitude of the doctors and nurses at Salford Royal, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family. For the coroner to choose not to report the failings of the hospital staff is something that needs looking into, and a half hearted apology does little to help the family come to terms with this wholly avoidable tragedy'.
Keith Fairhurst, deputy organiser added ' Absolutely shocking, the hospital staff that failed baby Karl and his family should be prosecuted for negligence, and deputy coroner Alan Walsh struck off for failing to report those responsible for Karls death. It's sickening that a coroner can regard a babies death as unworthy of appropriate action against those responsible. It shows the state of the NHS in Britain, where the majority of nursing staff are foreign, with dubious nursing qualifications. I wonder if those responsible even care'.
RWB Salford will continue to bring you the news as it happens in and around Salford, so check in regularly to find out the truth.