Parents call for full investigation into Hitchin toddler’s death

PUBLISHED: 16:53 16 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:13 17 April 2012

Joanne with daughter Jasmine.

Joanne with daughter Jasmine.


A CAMPAIGN has been set up by the parents of a 20-month-old girl who died last year, in a bid to get parents of ill children listened to by health care professionsals.

Jasmine Hughes, who lived in Hitchin with parents Joanne and Jeff, died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in February last year, one month after she was first admitted to Lister Hospital with a suspected post viral condition.

Following a series of tests at both hospitals, her condition deteriorated and she was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital on February 4, where she remained critically ill before she tragically died on February 15.

Mrs Hughes has now set up a group, Mother’s Instinct, designed to offer support to parents and families in similar situations and to raise awareness of the importance of parents being listened to.

Mr and Mrs Hughes are also calling for a full investigation into the standard of care provided at both Lister Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. They believe more could have been done to save Jasmine.

“We really want to know why the medical professionals didn’t listen to us when we voiced concerns that tests were taking too long, and no treatments were being offered, when all the time our little girl’s health was deteriorating right in front of us,” said Mrs Hughes.

Speaking about her daughter, she added: “Jasmine was the centre of our world. She was angelic looking with her bright blonde hair and blue eyes, and she was wonderfully entertaining. She liked to be out and about, seeing people and doing things.

“I took her to lots of activities, and she really enjoyed swimming, baby gymnastics, and sing and sign classes. She knew lots of words and would make us giggle with her cute little phrases, like ‘Up Daisy’ if she tripped over, and ‘Pupumper’ her word for cucumber. She loved books, particularly Charlie and Lola stories, and she liked to watch In The Night Garden before bed. She loved our dogs Bailey and Charlie, and they loved her back.

“Everyone adored her, and I would often receive comments at how funny and feisty she was. She certainly knew her own mind even at such a young age. She was a brilliant little girl, I couldn’t be any more proud of who she was if I tried.

“Since Jasmine’s death, we have never been the same again. There is no love like that a parent has for their child, and no pain worse than seeing your baby suffer and die.

“Memories of her deterioration and subsequent death will traumatise us for the rest of our lives. We only hope we can improve the way parents are listened to and communicated with in the future. We will dedicate our efforts in this regard, and the development of our charity called ‘Mothers Instinct’ to the memory of our beautiful daughter, Jazzie.”

An inquest is to be held into Jasmine’s death at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Thursday.


  • Mother's Instinct's already going & helping many parents like me through their 'MothersInstinctUK' facebook group. I strongly urge every parent to read what they say & follow them... they might just have the words you need to save a child.

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    Monday, April 16, 2012

  • I endorse everything Jo is trying to achieve in setting up Mothers Instinct - all mothers and fathers can identify with the feelings she and her husband Jeff have experienced after such a tragic event - why does it always take a tragedy to highlight an issue that really should be common sense. A mother knows her child better than anyone else ever could and she should be listened to by the medical profession. My heart goes out to all parents who have suffered such a loss. Mothers Instinct will not bring Jasmine back but it will be a lasting legacy for a very beautiful little girl. Please, please, please to all the Doctors and Nurses out there dealing in childcare - just listen to what the Mothers are telling you, it might just save another childs life.

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    Carole Sewell

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

  • Jo and Jeff have gone through the worst thing a parent can possibly imagine. I am full of admiration for them and their tireless work to channel their grief and anger into trying to ensure that none of the rest of us ever have to face a similar situation. Mothers Instinct will hopefully give parents the knowlege and confidence to make their voice heard, and ensure the medical profession is willing to listen.

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    Rachel Foreman

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

  • A mothers instinct should never be under estimated when it comes to a childs health. Poor Jo and Jeff, and sadly many other parents are left to count the cost of "arrogant doctors" who think they know best. I truly hope that Jasmine's inquest this week makes these doctors accountable for their appauling treatment of this lovely family. Good luck with your charity Jo, your an inspiration to us all!

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    Claire Connolly

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

  • Jo and Jeff are an inspiration to us all. They have been to hell and back since Jasmine died, such a needless tragic loss of such a beautiful little girl. It is appalling that doctors didnt listen to them and didnt treat Jasmine despite Jo and Jeff voicing constant fears for their daughter. We should be able to put total faith and trust in the NHS when lives are at stake, unfortunately we cannot seem to these days. Mothers Instinct is a wonderful charity, because mothers and fathers know their children better than anyone, even doctors, and it is imperative that they are listened to. If doctors had listened to Jo and Jeff Jasmine would probably still be alive today.

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    J Knott

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

  • So sad that loving parents have to go through this awful trauma. Doctors and nurses need to pay attention to parents and listen to their basic fear to prevent any more of these needless tragedies happening. The Lister in particular from my own personal dealings a few years ago needs to sort it's peadiactric dept out. Basic checks on temperature etc were missed on my son for hours, resulting in a worsening condition before eventually getting better. This shouldn't happening at all.

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    Monday, April 16, 2012

  • My heart goes out to Joanne and Jeff. They have shown such unbelievable strength over the past year. This is such a tragic loss, I still cannot believe that Jasmine is no longer with us. Perhaps she still would if staff at Lister Hospital listened to Joanne and trusted her Mother's Instinct. I have since been made aware of another case of a child being sent home from Lister Hospital diagnosed with Glue Ear when in fact it was a brain tumor. This is shocking stuff.

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    Sarah Metcalfe

    Monday, April 16, 2012

  • Mother's Instinct is already making a difference to many parents like me through their MothersInstinctUK group on Facebook (www.facebook.comMothersInstinctUK). I strongly encourage all parents to read what's there and follow their work ... you might just find the words & experience you need to save a child's life.

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    Monday, April 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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