Grieving parents to sue Northwick Park Hospital over their son’s death
07:00 27 March 2014
The grieving parents of a toddler whose tragic death will change the way medics share information between hospitals, are planning to sue health chiefs.
Rickel White and Selina Anderson will take legal action against North West London Hospitals NHS Trust after their three-year-old son Moné White died at Northwick Park Hospital in Watford Road, Sudbury.
The three-year-old youngster died from heart failure in July 2012 after doctors failed to read vital notes which have informed them he was born with dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart condition which left the muscles in his vital organ stretched and thin.
A coroner ruled that Moné would have received the specialist care that may have saved his life if they had noted his condition. He had been in the hospital for three days.
Moné was an outpatient of the cardiology department at the Royal Brompton Hospital in South Kensington, but as he often needed urgent treatment at A&E departments, a care plan was agreed which meant all medics treating him would be given access to important notes about his medical needs.
On Tuesday it would have been Moné’s fifth birthday. He was the couple’s only child.
Ms Anderson, 31, told the Times: “No amount of money will ever replace Moné.
“Receiving damages for our experience is a way for the hospital to accept liability for their actions.
“I think the unfortunate thing about the NHS is that you have to take legal action before you get an apology.”
At the inquest, held at North London Coroner’s Court in Barnet, coroner Andrew Walker gave a narrative ruling and said he will be sending a letter to the Department of Health requesting that measures are introduced so that vital information is shared and read between different hospitals.
Mr White, 30, who lives in Willesden, said: “My son did not pass away because of the heart condition; he passed because of their negligence.
‘‘It is heart-retching; like a part of you has gone. You feel lost and trapped in a nightmare. I have lost faith in the hospital and the NHS.”
Mr White and Ms Anderson have also launched an online petition calling for health ministers to increase the number of hospitals specialising in complex diseases in children.
So far they have collected 500 signatures but they need at least 100,000 to trigger a debate about the issue in Parliament.
Ms Anderson added: “Moné was a beautiful boy who was always smiling. He will be remembered as that bubbly, loving child.
He was special in so many different ways. He was such a happy and loving person. I had so much pride in him. Now he’s gone. It was the most painful experience of my life.”
“No parent should ever go through what we went through and we hope this petition will go some way in ensuring that.”
Suzanne White from law firm Leigh Day who is representing the family said: “The treatment of this very poorly little boy should have been so much better than it was.
“The doctors responsible for Moné’s care at the Royal Brompton had gone to great lengths to ensure that he was treated appropriately. The fact that these measures, detailed in an emergency treatment plan, remained unseen over the three days Moné was in Northwick Park Hospital is truly shocking.”
David McVittie, the trust’s chief executive, said: “I would like to reiterate our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Moné White and say how sorry I am for what happened.
“We accept the coroner’s verdict and we are implementing his recommendation to develop a flag system for patients under the care of specialist hospitals.”
To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/59740