Bristol

Ben Condon death: Hospital apologises for 'failings'

Ben Condon Image copyright PA
Image caption Ben Condon's parents believe their son should have been given antibiotics earlier

A hospital has apologised to the parents of a baby who died and accepted it had "failed in his care".

Ben Condon died at Bristol Children's Hospital in April 2015 after developing a respiratory illness. His parents said he should have had antibiotics earlier.

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said "failing to give Ben timely antibiotics" had "contributed to his death".

Ben's dad Allyn Condon said the apology was "two and a half years too late".

"It just confirms what we already know, it doesn't make me feel any better. I believe the individuals need to be held accountable. I will pursue the matter until they are," he added.

Mr Condon, a former Olympic sprinter, also said he "thought the apology was pretty weak".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Allyn Condon said he and his wife "just want answers for Ben"

Ben was born at 29 weeks on 17 February 2015 and spent seven weeks in hospital before going home to Weston-super-Mare.

Two days later he became ill and was taken to Weston General Hospital and then transferred to Bristol. He was not prescribed antibiotics until just over an hour before he died on 17 April 2015.

The trust's chief executive Robert Woolley said he wanted to "publicly apologise to Mr and Mrs Condon".

He added: "I am also deeply sorry for the additional distress and hurt caused by the wait Mr and Mrs Condon have endured before receiving this explanation. Ben's case has been a highly complex one to resolve.

"We made serious mistakes communicating with them and, as a result, we lost their trust."

He said the hospital had made changes since Ben's death which included "investment in bereavement support, a new electronic information system on the children's intensive care unit which records everything happening to a child, and the review and update of guidelines for treating acute lung problems in children".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ben Condon died aged eight weeks after developing breathing problems

Since his son's death, Mr Condon has been standing outside the hospital handing out leaflets with claims of a cover-up.

This resulted in medical staff making allegations of harassment and Mr Condon was questioned by police in August.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said there would be "no further action" regarding the allegations, but said "words of advice had been given" to Mr Condon.

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