Hitchin family launch campaign in memory of daughter

Jasmine Hughes

Jasmine Hughes - Credit: Archant

A MOTHER who believes her toddler would have survived had there been better communication between the hospitals which treated her is launching a campaign in her memory.

Joanne with daughter Jasmine.

Joanne with daughter Jasmine. - Credit: Archant

Jasmine Hughes died aged 20 months in February 2011, after suffering from brain disease Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM).

Jeff Hughes with daughter Jasmine

Jeff Hughes with daughter Jasmine - Credit: Archant

Parents Jeff and Joanne have always maintained their daughter would still be alive had their concerns been better acted upon and communication been better at Lister and Great Ormond Street hospitals, where Jasmine was treated.

The Mothers Instinct logo. It was designed by Joanne's cousin Scott Daly. The dots above the i's are

The Mothers Instinct logo. It was designed by Joanne's cousin Scott Daly. The dots above the i's are little jasmine flowers, in memory of Jasmine. - Credit: Archant

A website, giving advice, guidance and support, will be launched by the couple this Friday, to coincide with what would have been Jasmine’s fourth birthday.

It follows Mrs Hughes, 34, creating Mothers Instinct in 2011, with a Facebook page and support group going from strength to strength ever since.

“I can’t bring Jasmine back. So in her memory I want to help both parents and medics be better informed to prevent similar tragedies occurring,” said Mrs Hughes, who lives in Nutleigh Grove, Hitchin.

“I believe Jasmine would be starting school this September if my concerns, at every stage of her illness, had been taken more seriously.

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“There were lots of opportunities that were missed to provide better care for Jasmine and that is hard to live with. That is why we want to share the learning from our experiences and those of others, so that we are all better informed to get the best for our children when they are ill.”

In the year since Jasmine’s inquest, Mrs Hughes, who is expecting a baby boy in August, has been invited to the House of Lords, met with charities and campaign groups AvMA and Patients First, and shared her experiences for NHS training purposes.

She says the aim of Mothers Instinct is not to place blame, but to raise awareness of the importance of parental input into children’s healthcare, make parents aware of communication problems to look out for, to encourage an “open and honest” NHS and to provide support for bereaved parents.

She also wants parents to share ideas and experiences and work with the NHS to provide feedback for continuous improvement in care for children.

“We can’t bring Jasmine back, but with the work we have done so far and will continue to do with Mothers Instinct, we are making a big difference on her behalf,” she added.

Among the medical professionals backing the campaign is consultant paediatrician Dr Andy Raffles.

He said: “As a health professional, I warmly welcome the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful cause. Anything which sets out to demystify, improve and enable action on errors and mistakes or examples of poor care is to be welcomed.

“In particular, this group – Mothers Instinct – sets out to disseminate good practice and ensure implementation of good practice in local health care environments.”

Visit the website at www.mothersinstinct.co.uk