Bristol Royal Hospital for Children remain “in denial”

The announcement of an independent review into the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children by NHS Chief Sir Bruce Keogh has prompted families of the children who died in the hospital to claim that the hospital is “in denial” about the mistakes which caused the deaths of their children.

A major shake-up of the way in which parents are treated by the NHS after heart surgery complications or deaths involving children was also announced by Sir Bruce, who is the UK’s most senior doctor.

“A catalogue of neglect and poor care” was alleged by many families whose children had been treated by the Bristol children’s hospital’s cardiac unit, and this prompted the response by Keogh. Prof Ian Kennedy, the official responsible for a previous investigation into the deaths of many babies at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the 1990s, is now going to undertake a new enquiry into the more recent events. This review into practice and procedure has been welcomed by officials from the University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Sir Bruce Keogh, who is the NHS Medical Director, recently attended a three hour long meeting with seven families who had children treated in the Bristol hospital and were subsequently left seriously ill, or died.

In 2013, it emerged that several affected families were believed to be starting a legal claim against the NHS Trust, and seven of those concerned deaths of children after hospital treatment. Families had previously flagged up chronically low standards in the hospital. Many parents also say that recommendations made after Kennedy’s first review have still to be implemented.

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