Faye Burdett meningitis B death: Parents 'pushed aside' at hospital

Neil and Jenny Burdett Image copyright PA
Image caption Neil and Jenny Burdett gave evidence to the Petitions Committee

The parents of a toddler who died from meningitis B have said they felt "pushed aside" by a hospital worker after they raised concerns about their daughter.

Faye Burdett's death prompted hundreds of thousands of people to sign a petition calling for greater provision of the meningitis B vaccine.

Her mother Jenny told MPs the medic she had encountered was "dismissive".

Faye died on Valentine's Day after an 11-day fight against the disease.

An image of the two-year-old covered in a rash in hospital just before she died was shared by her family, sparking a flood of support for the petition.

Faye's father Neil Burdett told MPs the family shared the picture to try to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

Image copyright Meningitis Now
Image caption Two-year-old Faye Burdett died from meningitis B.

Giving evidence to the Commons Petitions Committee, Mrs Burdett said: "Our GP was amazing.

"When we got there he looked her over and and he trusted that I knew that something was not right.

"Our failing, we believe, is when we got to the hospital."

Mr Burdett said the couple and their GP, were not taken seriously.

"There was a flippant comment of an 'over-cautious GP' and as it turned out he wasn't over cautious," he said.

Mr Burdett said the family were at the hospital for two hours and Faye was discharged with a viral infection diagnosis.

"Six hours later we were back there and she was critically ill," he said.

"So we do obviously have issues with diagnosing it.

"What doesn't help is that they tell you to give them Calpol before you go to hospital - well you are just masking the symptoms by doing that.

"You should take them in ill - the doctor needs to see them ill."

Image copyright Just Giving
Image caption Faye Burdett was taken to A&E with a rash on her forehead but died days later

More than 823,000 people have signed the petition but the Government has rejected calls for the meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children, with officials saying the NHS budget is a "finite resource".

A spokesman for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust which treated Faye, said: "Meningitis B can be extremely difficult to detect and we will of course do everything we can to answer the family's questions about their daughter's care."

The hospital said that as soon Faye's condition become clear it sent her to the Evelina Children's Hospital in London for specialist care.

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