Northampton General Hospital apologises over toddler death

Harry Connelly died from dehydration and acute kidney failure

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Northampton General Hospital has apologised to the family of a toddler who died despite being seen twice by doctors.

The inquest into the death of 19-month-old Harry Connolly heard how he was taken to hospital twice within a week before his death on 1 May.

A narrative verdict was recorded at the end of the two day hearing.

A spokesperson for the hospital said an investigation had been carried out and a series of changes had been made.

The inquest heard Harry became unwell on 23 April last year - he was vomiting and had blood in his stools.

Acute kidney failure

His parents, Lucy and Raymond, took him to Northampton General Hospital on 26 April, but he was discharged the following day still suffering from the symptoms.

On 28 April his parents took him back to the hospital, but he was discharged again after a few hours.

His parents called the hospital saying he was not improving and reported that he had sunken eyes. They were told to call Northamptonshire Nenedoc out-of-hours GP service.

They were told Harry had a virus and to keep giving him fluids.

They put him to bed at their home in Parkfield Avenue, Delapre, on 30 April.

But in the early hours of the next day Mr Connolly found his son stiff and lifeless.

A port-mortem examination found the 19-month-old had died of dehydration and acute kidney failure after suffering from an inflammation of the colon, which had not been detected by the hospital.

'Never forget'

An investigation by the hospital found that key procedures had not been carried out.

The baby was only weighed once, no blood test was taken and details of his symptoms were not properly recorded.

Dr Sonia Swart, medical director for Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, said: "We wish to offer our deepest sympathies to Harry's parents and family and to say sorry to Mr and Mrs Connolly for the failings identified today by the coroner in the care of their son. The trust fully accepts the narrative verdict.

"I would emphasise that, as the coroner noted during the inquest, we have already undertaken a full investigation into what happened and shared the results with Harry's parents.

"Following that investigation we made a series of changes during the past year to the way we care for children as a result of the lessons learned from this case and we remain committed to constant improvement in quality."

Following the verdict, Mrs Connolly welcomed the findings, but added: "We will never get over it."

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