Emma Stones death: Tameside Hospital staff care 'inadequate'

Emma Stones
Image caption The inquest heard that staff failed to monitor Emma Stones

A 12-year-old disabled girl may have died more than four hours before staff at a Greater Manchester hospital noticed her, an inquest has heard.

Emma Stones, who had cerebral palsy, died of blood poisoning after being admitted to Tameside General Hospital in February 2011 with flu symptoms.

A coroner ruled her death followed a catalogue of errors by medical staff who provided "inadequate" care.

Stockport coroner John Pollard recorded a narrative verdict.

The inquest, at Stockport Coroner's Court, heard that staff failed to monitor Emma properly, skipped important checks and did not maintain her medical notes properly because they were "busy".

'Ice cold'

When her father, Michael Stones, arrived at the hospital at 08:30 GMT on the morning after her admission, he was told she had only just died.

But her body was "ice cold", showing signs of rigor mortis, and she may have been dead for more than four hours, Mr Pollard said.

Mr Pollard recorded a narrative verdict that Emma died of septicaemia but said it was likely that she would have survived were it not for the "inadequate" treatment she received.

He said her parents had endured a "long and painful experience".

Mr Stones and Emma's mother, Tracy Futcher, of Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, said they were considering legal action.

'Heartfelt sympathies'

"I'm disgusted and appalled by it. It beggars belief and lessons have to be learned from it," Mr Stones said.

Tariq Mahmood, Tameside Hospital's medical director, said: "Emma was a regular patient in our children's unit and we knew her family well.

"We would like to send our heartfelt sympathies to them during this difficult time.

"This has been a lengthy and thorough investigation by the coroner which we have fully supported and we accept his findings today.

"We acknowledge that the standard of care which we gave Emma was not acceptable and there were errors of judgment by individual members of staff. We have apologised to Emma's family for this failure."

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