An internal report by the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has revealed failings by Layla’s medical team to identify signs of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia.
On 3rd February 2017, six year old Layla-Rose was rushed to hospital with a high temperature, a severe headache and a stomach ache.
Layla’s mum Kirsty, brought her daughter to the hospital at around 8.30pm where they were seen by a triage nurse.
It was decided at this point that she needed to be seen by a doctor, but according to the hospital's report, it was an hour and 50 minutes before this took place.
Misdiagnosed as a viral illness
Layla’s doctor identified a rash, but believing this to be a bruise, her other symptoms were diagnosed a viral illness. A nurse treating Layla felt uncomfortable in sending her home and instead transferred her to a paediatrics ward.
On arriving in the ward, Layla-Rose was assessed by a junior doctor, who noted the rash on her hip, but deferred to the diagnosis of the first doctor.
Thirty minutes later, a locum doctor noted the rash, took Layla’s bloods and made the decision to administer antibiotics.
Meningitis symptoms identified too late
Tragically, however this was too late to save her. Layla-Rose’s rash spread rapidly and she then went into cardiac arrest. Layla-Rose died in hospital just 12 hours after first showing symptoms.
Layla’s parents Kirsty and Ramazan said: “Layla-Rose was a much loved, bright, beautiful daughter and sister. She had many friends and loved to dance.”
In their statement, Kirsty and Ramazan shared their hope that their tragedy will bring about changes at Royal Oldham Hospital so that other families do not have to go through what they have.
The impact of this report
Speaking to The Mirror the family’s solicitor, Jacqueline White said: “This is a terribly sad case involving the loss of a much loved daughter and sister. I sincerely hope that processes and pathways will now be put in place by the Trust to ensure that no other child falls through the net in the way that Layla-Rose did.
“This is likely to require a comprehensive programme of training not least to ensure that a culture of team working is put in place so that all members of the Clinical Team are empowered, supported and confident promptly to escalate clinical concerns of sepsis to experienced senior doctors.”
Dr Jawad Husain, Medical Director at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to all of Layla’s family and friends following her sad and tragic death at The Royal Oldham Hospital.
"We have carried out a thorough investigation into the care and circumstances surrounding Layla’s death and have shared our findings with her parents. We continue to be in contact with the family to provide feedback and support.”
Since the devastating loss of their little girl, Layla- Rose's family and community have raised an incredible £10,000 for Meningitis Now, and are campaigning for greater access to meningitis vaccines.
We are here for anyone affected by this devastating disease, and will continue to support families in any way we can. If you have any questions or worries about meningitis, please do get in touch with our helpline for support.