'Gross failure' led to boy's death
The parents of a five-year-old boy who died days after he was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties have welcomed a coroner's ruling that neglect by medical staff was to blame for the tragedy.
Donald Coutts-Wood, coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire, said Harry Mould, from Greenleys in Buckinghamshire, died of natural causes.
But he said neglect was a contributory factor and accused Milton Keynes hospital of a "gross failure to provide basic medical attention to Harry".
Harry was admitted to the hospital with breathing difficulties on March 26, 2009. He was later transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary where he died on March 31.
His family, who have been waiting for more than two years for the inquest to resume, claim he was not checked regularly by staff at the hospital.
The inquest heard that Harry, who suffered from asthma, died from a lower respiratory infection and had suffered a brain injury during his time in hospital.
Pathologist David O'Neil, from Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, told the hearing there had been changes in the child's brain cells which could have caused Harry not to respond to treatment as well as he should.
Delivering his verdict after a two-week inquest, the coroner said: "For some time prior to, but certainly in the period between approximately 8.30pm and 9.35pm on March 27, 2009, at Milton Keynes Hospital, Harry was not receiving all the appropriate observations and care that he required."
The trust that runs the hospital admitted that staff did not listen to the concerns of Harry's parents, Odette and Lee Mould, and apologised for the "unimaginable" distress they had been through.
Mrs Mould, 33, said: "It basically for us is everything we have always thought, but we needed the evidence to be shown to the coroner. It has been a process for us of getting answers and making changes. We don't want any other children in the same situation as Harry."