Stop Child Death Cover Ups. Sepsis. Justice for Benjamin Condon!
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Please sign our petition calling on the Secretary of State for Health Matthew Hancock and the Government to investigate Bristol Children's Hospital to hold neglectful parties responsible for Ben's death and the subsequent cover up and ensure other families don't suffer the way we have.
In 2015 our son Benjamin Condon died at Bristol Children's Hospital aged 2 months old and subsequently hospital staff plotted a cover up of the details of Ben's death to avoid admitting the truth and their own failings in care.
Within minutes of Ben dying we asked would there be a post mortem and Senior Consultant Matthew Christopherson convinced us it was not necessary as they were 100% sure of the cause of death. Just 5 hours earlier Matthew Christopherson was the Consultant who had overseen the administration of a drug given 2 days out of protocol, following which Ben collapsed and later died. We believe at this stage staff were already aware of what actions they would take.
Matthew Christopherson and colleague Peter Davis signed off the death certificate within 45 minutes of Ben dying and in an email to colleague's months later Peter Davis would claim our family had never asked for a post mortem claiming we had left the hospital just 30 minutes after Ben died. In a later email Peter Davis would admit that it was him who had left the hospital unit the evening Ben died. Peter Davis also failed to add a hospital acquired infection to medical records and the death certificate.
At a Child Death Review 8 weeks after Ben died a report was created by 12 attending professionals admitting the real cause of Ben's death from Pseudomonas Sepsis. 12 months later all staff attending an inquest colluded to tell an entirely different story to the Avon Coroner. A story that that said Pseudononas played no part in his death and a story the Coroner believed, concluding Ben's death was unavoidable. We have unequivocal evidence that the staff at the inquest lied to the Coroner committing perjury to cover their own and their colleagues failings.
Hospital staff failed to tell our family that Ben had developed a hospital acquired super infection until 7 weeks after Ben had died, where in a meeting Paediatric Consultants James Fraser and Suzanne Dean informed us that the infection was not known until after death which they claim was the reason it took so long to tell us. 12 months later we would find internal emails sent within hours of the meeting with James Fraser and Suzanne Dean admitting that the infection was discovered hours before death, but hospital staff failed to add it to any medical notes or Ben's death certificate and failed to tell our family and despite antibiotics being prescribed for chest sepsis staff forgot to administer them until just one hour before Ben died and two hours after telling us Ben was going to die. Staff had promised our family for days that antibiotics would be started to cover a secondary bacterial infection that they told us they believed Ben had. They also left Ben hypothermic for 12 hours on several of the days in hospital with a temperature as low as 34 degrees for a neonate.
Hospital staff claim that they were not aware of the positive infection result prior to Ben dying and 12 months later we discovered the result had been filed under 'hidden report'. Despite eventually admitting it was reported before death the CEO of Bristol Trust claimed that this information was only known by a trainee Dr McGregor who never shared it with anyone and that no one else knew. Consultants later admitted that they knew about the secondary hospital acquired bacterial infection the evenings Ben died and that it was this intelligence that had brought them to Bens bedside however University Hospital Trust CEO Robert Woolley still claims that Consultants didn't know pointing the finger firmly in his direction as to who is leading this cover up.
It took the hospital 10 weeks to provide us with a death summary which we only discovered existed after a representative from Care UK informed us that he had seen the document. The Trusts failure to provide us with a summary of Ben's death for over 10 weeks raises serious issues under the Duty of Candour and also a breach of confidentiality.
Listen to the recording from the meeting where James Fraser and Suzanne Dean tell us that they didn't know about Pseudomonas until after Ben had died. It was James Fraser who would later tell the Coroner they knew about the bacterial infection before Ben died, contradicting the lies he and Suzanne Dean had told us. James Fraser would also admit in a meeting that it was the Pseudomonas that brought the Consultants to the bedside.
Consultants James Fraser and Suzanne Dean also reassured our family in a meeting 6 weeks after Ben died that Ben could not have been suffering from an infection until the day he died as blood tests and blood cultures taken the day before showed a negative result. Blood tests and blood cultures were never taken and James Fraser and Suzanne Dean had lied to us to portray a better standard of care and to convince us that Ben never had an infection earlier that week. Despite glaring lies, no disciplinary action was ever taken.
Listen to Paediatric Consultants James Fraser and Suzanne Dean lie about blood tests and blood cultures that were never taken.
In a further meeting 3 months after Ben died with University Hospital General Manager Julie Vass and Paediatric Consultant Margrid Schindler, we presented an overwhelming amount of evidence proving failings in care, following which, we left the room for a break and staff admitted on recording 'They are right' and 'they have a point'. They also admitted that antibiotics should have Been given days earlier. Staff then realised the hospital recording was still on and stopped it failing to realise our own recording was on. Consultant Margrid Schindler then asked for the recording to be deleted or 'it could get us in to difficulty'. General Manager Julie Vass can then be heard saying 'I will take that out when we have finished'. Julie Vass and Margrid Schindler then realised our recording was still on and after a failed attempt to delete General Manager Julie Vass concedes by saying 'I cannot delete it without deleting the whole recording'. Despite this clear breach of candour, no disciplinary action was ever taken. Internal investigations carried out by Deputy Divisional Director Rebecca Dunn and Deputy Medical Director at University Hospital Bristol Jane Luker concluded that comments made by Consultant Margrid Schindler and General Manager Julie Vass were said in haste with no real intention to delete. The Trust CEO refuses to provide our family with details of the investigation on the advice of the Trusts legsl team.
6 months after Ben died during a 4th meeting, Consultant Ian Jenkins reviewing the case admitted that antibiotics should have been given much earlier. He also explained that having spoken to all of his colleagues they all agreed antibiotics should have been given earlier and in future that they would give them earlier. He told our family that Ben had been developing an infection right there in front of them and that he was sorry on behalf of the hospital they had failed to treat it. He also explained that 'had antibiotics been given, Ben stood a better chance, he has to doesn't he'. He apologised on behalf of University Hospital Bristol saying that they had got Ben's case all wrong. Following these admissions, by Dr Ian Jenkins, University Hospital Bristol completely changed their focus as to how Ben died. At the inquest Consultant Ian Jenkins was also asked as to whether antibiotics would have made a difference and he told the Avon Coroner Maria Voisin 'I doubt it'. Consultant Ian Jenkins also changed a time line of events on the final day of Ben's life to cover failings of colleague's who had caused Ben's eventual collapse. After telling our family 'there is no way we can say the air leak around Ben's heart caused his cardiac arrest, we just do not have any evidence the leak was there prior to the arrest' he went on to tell the Coroner 'the biggest event on the 17th of April was the cardiac arrest which was caused by the air leak'.
Listen to Consultants lie about antibiotics and the timing of an air leak to cover colleagues failings.
Following the inquest we presented the clear lies told by Consultant Ian Jenkins at the inquest in relation to the air leak around Ben's heart. Professor Michael Stevens was tasked with carrying out and independent report in to nearly 90 unanswered questions around Ben's care and the cover up of failings and in relation to the comments by Dr Ian Jenkins he stated that there was no contradiction in what Jenkins said in the meeting with our family and at the inquest clearly showing that the Trust have no intention of being open and honest. Professor Michael Stevens would also dismiss other glaring contradictions covering failings.
Despite all of the above admissions and the conclusive Child Death Review report, all staff attending the inquest told the Avon Coroner that Ben had died of an air leak around his heart which had caused a cardiac arrest despite telling us previously 'there is no way we can say that air leak was there before the cardiac arrest'. All attending Consultants Ian Jenkins, Suzanne Dean, James Fraser and Matthew Christopherson who had all treated Ben told the Coroner there was never any sign of an infection and antibiotics would have made no difference. Months earlier Suzanne Dean had told not only our family but also Ian Jenkins that she had carried out a lung culture test as she believes that there was a secondary infection. Suzanne Dean merely told the Coroner she had carried out those tests as a matter of routine but never suspected an infection.
Senior Management at University Hospital Bristol also removed references to failings in a report provided by the Trust CEO Robert Woolley, refused to provide our family with documents disclosing failings until after the inquest and lied on internal emails to colleagues suggesting a post mortem was never requested.
If someone in any other industry covered a child's death, there would be outrage. NHS staff should not be exempt or protected if they are involved in such appalling behaviour.
During our 2 year battle we have discovered the black hole that exists where no one is held accountable and families do not get answers. We want to ensure that our little boy who was failed by the individual Consultants and the system gets the justice he deserves and a law to be put in place to prevent future cover ups. We want to see appropriate accountability to those involved who have not only failed to provide appropriate care for Ben but have also covered up his death and committed perjury at the inquest in front of the Avon Coroner Maria Voisin. We also believe that the staff involved in covering Ben's death goes right to the top of the senior management at University Hospital Bristol.
Our aim is to have Ben's case presented to parliament and the whole case reviewed. We believe University Hospital Bristol needs to be appropriately investigated. Despite our clear presentation of failings to the University Hospital Bristol Trust CEO Robert Woolley, he refuses to answer even the most basic of questions, refuses to release documents on the advice of legal teams and have failed to ever fully get to grips with Ben's case.
One independent review carried out by Verita an investigation company provided a damning report about the behaviour of hospital staff and senior management but the Trust have failed to appropriately follow up on the report and have failed to carry out some of the recommendation. No disciplinary action was taken following the report.
Please sign our petition calling on the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and the Government to investigate Bristol Children's Hospital to hold neglectful parties responsible for Ben's death and the subsequent cover up and ensure other families don't suffer the way we have.
A previous meeting was held with Jeremy Hunt where he promised our family he would not just let the cover up of Ben's death go away. No action was ever taken.
University Hospital Bristol CEO Robert Woolley claims that they have done everything they can to answer questions from our family when it is very clear from all reports that they have done everything they can to not answer the questions avoiding all clear points of failings and changing their story following admissions.
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