Lessons not learnt from daughter's death say parents - The Leamington Observer

Lessons not learnt from daughter's death say parents

Leamington Editorial 21st Mar, 2019   0

PARENTS say they feel ‘utter despair’ that lessons have not been learnt following the death of their daughter.

Warwick couple Helen and Trevor Smith were devastated after their seven-year-old daughter Evelyn died from bacterial tracheitis – an infection of the windpipe – in 2013.

The Coten End pupil had been sent home from Warwick Hospital A&E, a medical centre and by a GP, within 36 hours of her death. An inquest ruled it had ‘more likely than not been preventable’.

But the couple say instead of learning from their daughter’s death, the NHS has gone ‘backwards’ and is putting other children at risk of the same condition.




They say the NHS website previously contained information about tracheitis but it had now been removed.

Helen – who founded ‘acts of kindness’ charity Evelyn’s Gift after her daughter’s death – told the Observer: “I was horrified to find the website no longer contains any information about tracheitis.


“Rather than learning from her death, the NHS seems to have gone backwards and it frightens me that other children might die. The facts are there about tracheitis with croup. There is no excuse for failing to acknowledge it.

“In New Zealand they use all sorts of clear charts and red flag warnings for high fever and a toxic appearance with croup.

“I am feeling utter despair as I can’t see anything being learnt from her death.”

NHS Digital, which runs the website, say parents should always seek the advice of a doctor or nurse if they were concerned about their child.

A spokesman said: “We regularly review the content on our website so it matches the best available medical advice and we will always consider requests for new content.

“We offer advice on the croup webpages on when and where parents should seek emergency medical advice and parents should always seek guidance from a trained medical professional whenever they have concerns about their child’s wellbeing.”

Helen is also concerned about the supervision of South Warwickshire Foundation Trust’s Accident and Emergency junior doctors treating children when they have no paediatric training – which was flagged up at Evelyn’s inquest.

The trust says all junior doctors discuss child cases with senior clinicians and A&E staff now receive training on croup and bacterial tracheitis as part of their induction.

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