Family of tragic tot Jasmine believe ‘questions answered’ at inquest

THE family of a 20-month-old girl who died have said they felt the inquest into her death answered questions about why there had been delays in performing tests which may have saved her life.

Jasmine Hughes died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in February last year, one month after being admitted to Lister Hospital.

Her parents, Joanne and Jeff, were at the inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court and heard evidence which showed there was miscommunication between staff at Lister Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, and delays in diagnostic tests.

Mrs Hughes, who lives in Hitchin with her husband, has set up a group called Mother’s Instinct in Jasmine’s memory and is calling for the medical profession to pay more attention to parents.

In a statement to the Comet, the family said: “The inquest did answer our questions about why there had been delays in performing diagnostic tests, when we were so concerned.

“It became clear the reason for the delay in performing diagnostic tests was that medics had not communicated our concerns effectively. Great Ormond Street told the court they were under the impression Jasmine was ‘stable’ and ‘improving’, when they delayed the tests. Lister doctors gave evidence which supported they were aware Jasmine was ‘deteriorating’ but this information was not clearly communicated to Great Ormond Street.

“Joanne only hopes to help make sure these kinds of mistakes are not repeated with someone else’s child, through her group ‘Mothers Instinct’ which she has set up in memory of her daughter.”

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The inquest was concluded yesterday (Thursday). Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe recorded a narrative verdict of death as a result of Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM).

ADEM often occurs following a viral infection. Consultant pathologist Dr Squire, who performed a brain autopsy, said at the inquest that the illness had caused Jasmine’s brain to swell.

The family’s solicitor, Moore Blatch Resolve’s Paul Kingsley, a clinical negligence specialist, said after the inquest: “I am sure that the family are relieved that this inquest is now complete.

“The family continue to believe that their concerns over Jasmine’s deteriorating health were not listened to and that there was a failure to institute early investigation and treatment for Jasmine. Mr and Mrs Hughes remain resilient over the last year and they will continue to strive for justice in this case.

“Jasmine’s death has significantly affected the family but they have gained strength from their resolve and their determination that the failings which they identify in Jasmine’s management are never again repeated.

“I am sure that Mrs Hughes’ support group – Mother’s Instinct – will continue to grow and offer support to families in similar tragic situations.”