Luke Jenkins death: Leaked hospital report sent to boy's parents
- 13 December 2013
- From the section Bristol
A leaked hospital report has been sent to the parents of a seven-year-old boy who died after heart surgery in Bristol Children's Hospital.
The document, dated 8 May, referred to the death of Luke Jenkins and suggested poor care may have contributed to the ill health or death of their son.
It was not shown at his inquest, which recorded a narrative verdict.
The hospital said it was not disclosed as the coroner had "made it clear" it would "not assist in her primary duty".
The leaked report was sent anonymously to the family's home.
Luke's mother, Faye Valentine, said she believed someone wanted them to see it.
"Perhaps they believed there are failings that they wanted us to see for ourselves," she said.
Solicitor Laurence Vick said the family had been surprised to receive the document in "unusual circumstances".
"It is yet another review and should have been disclosed to the inquest," he said.
"It's clear from this new document the trust acknowledges that they hadn't really been as transparent and open as they should have been."
Four separate investigations
Luke, from Cardiff, was expected to make a full recovery after having heart surgery in March 2012.
After the operation, he was discharged early from intensive care to Ward 32 where he suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
Four separate investigations were carried out by the hospital into Luke's death.
The first found staffing levels were unsafe and a failure to recognise Luke's deteriorating condition had contributed to his death.
A second found poor "communication and team-working" and "inadequate recognition" of the severity of his illness "may have contributed".
A third, more favourable report, found that staffing levels were not to blame and it was not possible to say if his death was preventable.
All three reports were disclosed to the coroner but a fourth, which questions the thoroughness of the third report and its conclusions, was not.
'No gross failure'
Robert Woolley, from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said the final report was not disclosed as the coroner "had made it clear she would not examine the processes the trust took to investigate Luke's death".
Luke's parents believe all the evidence should have been put before the coroner and are planning to take legal action against the hospital.
The Health Service Ombudsman is also investigating Luke's care, as well as that of another child from Wiltshire.
At Luke's inquest last month Avon Coroner, Maria Voisin, was told there was "no evidence of gross failure" in the care he received at Bristol Children's Hospital.