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Clinical Negligence

Five-year old Yusuf Nazir’s death to be investigated after overcrowded hospital sent him home

Sarah Ratcliffe

by Sarah Ratcliffe

calendar_month 5 Dec 22

schedule 2 min read

As a Clinical Negligence expert, dealing with sad and difficult cases is part of the job. But even by normal standards, this is a shocking case.

Whilst we might not have all of the facts at our disposal, what we do know is that five-year old Yusuf Nazir died after Rotherham General Hospital refused to admit him when his respiratory condition seemed to be worsening. Yusuf was eventually taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital by ambulance, where he died on Wednesday, 23 November.

Having sadly dealt with similar cases, I suspect that in this instance the failure of Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to find Yusuf a bed at another hospital locally, regionally or nationally contributed to his death, and this arguably represents a breach of the NHS’ statutory obligation to find a bed for critically ill patients. Considering the family were allegedly told there were “no beds and not enough doctors” is extraordinary.

Whilst we are still in the midst of dealing with a pandemic and NHS resources are stretched to say the very least, there should always be beds available for critically ill patients.  This is not an elective admission. In this case, there was the potential for Yusuf to be sent to Sheffield, Barnsley or even Leeds .

Secondly, there is the need to determine whether or not it was the failure of frontline medical staff to appreciate the severity of Yusuf’s symptoms and therefore a more common example of a negligent failure to admit.

This horrific story is every parent’s and indeed every patient’s worst nightmare, but it seems very apparent from what we know that the family did all that anyone would do in this situation. The public need to trust that if they or their children need an urgent admission or treatment, that it will happen. It is not yet known when the investigation might take place, but hopefully the family can be given some answers, and some reassurance that action will be taken to prevent this ever happening again.

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