Hospital trust apologises for series of errors which led to 4-year-old's death

Oliver Blockley

Oliver Blockley

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A HOSPITAL trust has admitted a series of errors during the care of a four-year-old boy, which led to his death.

Oliver Blockley was taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital by his mum, Jennifer, on October 30, 2011 with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

He was diagnosed with viral gastroenteritis but after a number of failings by hospital staff, Oliver suffered from a cardiac arrest and died on October 31.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has now admitted to 28 counts of negligence by its staff that meant Oliver’s infection was never diagnosed and treated appropriately.

The trust has accepted that Oliver would have survived and recovered from his infection had it not been for the negligent care he received at its hospital.

His family from Thame were left devastated and it was not until they went to Darbys Solicitors, they were given an apology from the trust.

Laura Cook, from the firm, said: "Unfortunately the trust's lack of openness at the time of Oliver's death meant that Ms Blockley was denied the opportunity at the inquest to take legal advice.

"Even when Ms Blockley was invited to a meeting with a hospital consultant and one of the trust's legal team to discuss events, she was met with vague and defensive excuses for why Oliver had died and led to believe that the hospital couldn't be to blame, even though they knew that their own investigation had highlighted serious failings."

The inquest in June 2012 concluded Oliver died from natural causes.

Ms Blockley said: "I feel that it’s every parent’s right to know that the main hospital in their area has had major failings in care for a child who if treated correctly had a 95 per cent chance of survival from the infection.

"Even when I questioned the care at the time I was told that it was just a tummy bug and that he would be fine.

"Even at the end when Ollie was losing his battle with life after being so let down earlier in the day by the staff at the Stoke Mandeville, I saw the most unprofessional handling of the situation.

"Losing Ollie meant I and all of his family have lost a huge part of ourselves."

Anne Eden, chief executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "I sincerely and without reservation apologise to Mr and Ms Blockley for the actions of the trust which led to the death of Oliver in 2011.

"We have made every effort to be open and transparent with the Blockleys throughout this very distressing time and our clinicians have met with the family to help them understand what happened.

"We have thoroughly reviewed the circumstances around Oliver’s death, as well as policies, procedures and staff training, and we commissioned an independent expert review.

"A number of other improvements have been made, which include: strengthening our early warning process for recognising when a child’s condition is getting worse; improving how we care and treat patients with gastroenteritis, in particular the use and types of fluid given and additional advanced life support training.

"We recognise and regret that nothing will ever change this terrible situation for the Blockleys but we have learned the lessons and hope these changes will ensure that as far as possible no other family will suffer in the same way."

Comments (2)

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5:42pm Thu 5 Jun 14

motco says...

What a sad waste of a young life.
What a sad waste of a young life. motco
  • Score: 2

8:10am Fri 6 Jun 14

I know who I am says...

Such a sad case. Should never have happened.

Bring back Wycombe's hospital and take some of the pressure off Stoke. Maybe then there will be more time for the doctors and nurse to care for their patients instead of rushing around and missing important signs.
Such a sad case. Should never have happened. Bring back Wycombe's hospital and take some of the pressure off Stoke. Maybe then there will be more time for the doctors and nurse to care for their patients instead of rushing around and missing important signs. I know who I am
  • Score: 4

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