LONDON: An independent investigation will be carried out into the death of a five-year-old boy who died after he was sent home from an allegedly understaffed and underequipped hospital.
Yusuf Mahmud Nazir had a severe throat infection but Rotherham Hospital in South Yorkshire, in the north of England, refused to admit him. His uncle, Zaheer Ahmed, said he “begged” staff to do more to help his nephew but was told the children’s ward had “not got the doctors” and “not got the beds.”
Ahmed told the British media that Yusuf took ill with a sore throat on Nov. 13 and was given antibiotics by the family’s doctor. But his condition quickly got worse and he was taken to Rotherham Hospital, where staff said they could not admit him and sent him home.
On Nov. 18, Yusuf was unable to speak, eat or drink and was taken by ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he was treated immediately but, despite being given intravenous antibiotics, he died on Nov. 23.
Rotherham Hospital initially said it would carry out an internal investigation but Dr. Richard Jenkins, the hospital’s chief executive, on Thursday said investigators from outside South Yorkshire will review the case. In a letter to local MP Sarah Champion, he said he was working with NHS England to “identify appropriate independent investigators.”
Champion said: “I’m so relieved that the wants and needs of the family have been listened to and we are going to get this independent inquiry. Independent is the key bit. It has to be really robust and independent.”
Jenkins said he spoke to Yusuf’s uncle to “directly express my condolences and to apologize to the family.”
Yusuf’s family confirmed that they received the apology but that alone is not enough, adding: “They’ve apologized but that doesn’t give us any answers.”