Meningitis death was avoidable

19th June 2019

We were once again saddened to hear about the tragic death of a baby boy whose life could have been saved had his parents’ instincts been acted on

Muhammed Harris Mahmood meningitis death inquest verdict

According to newspaper reports, 12-month-old Muhammed Harris Mahmood died in Manchester in 2015 after contracting meningitis. His inquest heard that he could have been saved had he been given a simple blood test and a coroner has concluded that neglect contributed to his death.

This case echoes that of Ollie Hall, who died in 2017. A recent inquest into Ollie’s death concluded gross neglect after the concerns of his parents were also ignored. 

In Muhammed’s case, parents Majid Mahmood and Nosheen Kousar issued a statement explaining that they felt their concerns about their “happy little boy’s” health had been “brushed aside”. Both Muhammed’s father and a junior doctor had recommended the blood test, but this was not acted on.

The inquest heard that this was because it needed the agreement of a more senior doctor, but the coroner declined to make a “prevention of future deaths order” because she was satisfied that pediatric trusts across the Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust now “act in a very different way to how they did in 2015”.

Meningitis Now Chief Executive Dr Tom Nutt said this was yet another example of where a child’s life could have been saved had his parents been listened to.

“Just like with Ollie Hall, Muhammed’s parents quite rightly trusted their instincts and raised their concerns about their son."

“And just like with Ollie Hall, their concerns were not acted on."

“Clearly in both cases there were other factors in the eventual deaths of these two little boys, and we are very pleased to hear that the Pennine Acute Hospitals trust has already implemented many improvements that could prevent these tragedies occurring the future.

“Frustratingly, these are exactly the sort of recommendations that have been made by the Meningococcal Working Group, which was formed last year to look at what more needs to be done to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis

“We are still waiting for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s comments on these recommendations and hope they will be published soon”.