Parents call for NHS changes following Maltby baby’s death

A MALTBY mum has called for changes to NHS training and systems after her one-year-old son died of pneumonia that was missed three times by doctors.

Jodie Conlay, 28, was speaking at the end of the four day inquest into the circumstances surrounding Lewis Peter Mullins death.

Recording a narrative verdict, Rotherham Coroner Nicola Mundy said: “Had appropriate treatment been instigated on any of these three occasions it is likely Lewis would have survived.”

Lewis died on 2nd April - just days after his first birthday - after suffering streptococcal pneumonia which he developed after having chickenpox.

He was sent home from an NHS walk-in centre once and Rotherham Hospital twice in the three days prior to his death as doctors failed to spot his condition.

Medical staff had put his high temperature and breathing difficulties down to a possible allergic reaction to antiviral medication and the chicken pox infection.

But during the inquest a medical expert said a simple blood test or chest x-ray could have revealed the presence of the pneumonia.

“I still can’t believe that Lewis is no longer with us,” said Miss Conlay. “He was such a content baby, a real happy chappie. We have pictures from his first birthday just days before he became ill. His big sister keeps telling me she misses her little brother. It has hit both myself and Andrew very hard.”

“Hearing that the treatment given to Lewis could have been different and could have saved his life was completely soul destroying.”

“I just hope now that changes can be made, and more notice taken of parents’ concerns, to try and prevent others from having to go through the heartache that we have.”

Lewis’s parents are now asking the Government to introduce a national vaccination programme against chicken pox, to prevent another tragedy.

“Being vaccinated against chickenpox is part of routine childhood immunisations in certain countries like the USA and Canada,” she continued.

“Here in the UK the vaccine is available, but is not routinely offered by the NHS. I want the Government to consider introducing the vaccine to all children in the UK.”

“I also think parents need to be given more information as to the serious complications that can arise from chickenpox. I expected Lewis to recover from chickenpox just as his big sister had. But he started to get worse, not better. I knew something was wrong, but the doctors kept reassuring me.”

Rotherham Hospital has since implemented changes and all children with chicken pox are given antibiotics and physically examined within four hours of admission by a senior doctor.