Belfast Telegraph

Bereaved mother condemns hospital

A bereaved mother sobbed as she told an inquest her one-year-old daughter was overlooked, neglected and subjected to a "brutal" experience at an NHS hospital.

Hayley Fullerton died of heart failure at Birmingham Children's Hospital on November 11, 2009, one month after her first birthday.

She had been born in Northern Ireland on October 6, 2008 with a heart defect and a hole in the heart, and underwent palliative surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast weeks later, Birmingham Coroner's Court heard.

In October 2009 Hayley was flown to Birmingham Children's Hospital for corrective heart surgery. Her mother Paula Stevenson told the court the operation was a success and Hayley was transferred to the hospital's Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

However, while in the hospital's care, Hayley's right lung collapsed and her health began to deteriorate, Mrs Stevenson, 40, said.

The mother said she voiced concerns with hospital staff when she found out that Hayley was to be moved to ward 11 on November 2 because she was worried that staff on that ward would be unfamiliar with her medical history.

Mrs Stevenson, who is from Northern Ireland but now lives in Australia's Gold Coast with Hayley's father Bobby Fullerton, said there were 15 people in the room working to save her daughter. She said: "I was livid at the ward 11 staff, my family and I had warned them.

"I truly believe if the medical team had listened to me and my parents Hayley would still be alive today. They turned their backs on her. She was overlooked, neglected and suffered while she was alive.

"I cannot begin to explain the impact that this has had on myself and my family. Both Bobby and I are devastated. Hayley's experience at Birmingham Children's Hospital can only be described as brutal."

The inquest was adjourned until on Tuesday.

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